Commissioner’s efforts on mail sorting in Minot a worthy cause

Ask around Ward County and it won’t be hard to find residents quite talkative on the subject of mail delivery. From returned mail to late mail to disappearing mail – problems abound, many have told Minot Daily News.

It’s understandable when problems are caused by bad weather, and delays can be understood at the height of the holiday season, although in the case of the latter, one would like to think a plan could be developed with the high volume.

However, it doesn’t appear that it takes either of those conditions to prompt problems.

Ward County Commissioner Alan Walter wants to do something about that. Walter told Minot’s local government liaison committee last week that he plans to visit with North Dakota’s congressional delegation during an upcoming trip to Washington about restoring mail processing in Minot that had been eliminated in 2015. (The postal service reports only a portion of Minot’s mail processing was moved to Bismarck in 2015. Minot retains processing of letters and parcels destined to zip codes beginning with 587 and 588.)

The Ward County Auditor’s Office brought 13 returned letters, received over a couple of days in late March, to the city-county-parks-school liaison meeting. The letters included those mailed by the office in 2017 and 2018 that now were being returned despite correct addresses. Auditor Devra Smestad pondered where the letters could have been lost for a year or more.

Ballots mailed in last fall’s election with no postmark denoting when they were mailed, returned mail with accurate addresses, a letter, correctly addressed to the auditor’s office, that was hand-delivered by the taxpayer after the postal service returned it to him are just some examples of what seems like quite a bevy of challenges. This, despite the fact that postal authorities are not aware of any systemic delivery issues from Minot residents, according to a spokesperson.

Walter’s proposal, if it comes to fruition, might not solve all of the issues, but it seems like a worthy effort to pursue.