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Council passes resolution supporting Bypass Mail System


The Bethel City Council passed a resolution supporting the bypass mail system in bush Alaska on the consent agenda during their November 22, 2011 city council meeting.

The resolution (11-34), introduced by council member Kent Harding, states that the Bethel City Council will join with postal workers and the community allies in a campaign to stop the revision and slow demise of the bypass mail. The council members will also be requesting the Alaska congressional delegation to support the stability of the U.S. Postal Service and the bypass mail system.

In Alaska, 75% of communities and over 85,000 residents have no connecting roads or ferry transportation system. The vast majority of food items and everyday necessities destined for Alaska’s isolated communities and populations can only be delivered by air transportation.

In 1985, the U.S. Congress established goals for what is known as the United States Postal By-Pass Mail Service, which provides rural Alaska with mail service.

The resolution states that Alaska’s bypass mail system contributes to the viability of urban and rural Alaska’s economy, mail service, and interstate air transportation. Additionally, the U.S. Postal Service has indicated that Alaska’s bypass mail service goes beyond the postal service mission of providing universal service and that the USPS is obligated with responsibilities directed under the By-Pass Mail Act.

Also according to the resolution, it is in the best interest of the USPS, residents of Alaska and the rest of the nation to ensure the Intra-Alaska By-Pass Mail System remains strong, viable and affordable for the USPS. Subsequently, revisions and closures of postal hubs will have unintended consequences of negatively impacting commerce, health care service, and education and will shift costs of these impacts to local, state, federal and private entities.

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