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Dan Newhouse

MATTAWA - Grant County’s congressional representative, 4th District Congressman Dan Newhouse appears peeved at the Mattawa post office over its reported decision to shutter its post office boxes.

Regional representatives with United States Postal Service haven’t confirmed as to why the small post office apparently decided to shut down its P.O. boxes, but they did inform iFIBER ONE News that the post office is owned and operated by a ‘contractor’ and isn’t directly operating as an official United States Postal Service office.

The Mattawa post office is situated in the same building as Oli’ Deli at 111 Government Rd. The Mattawa post office is operated by postmaster Thomas MacDougall. Newhouse penned a letter to MacDougall demanding why he decided to nix the location’s P.O. box service.

“I am writing in regard to the recently announced decision to close the post office boxes at CPU Mattawa, in Mattawa, Washington beginning on January 31, 2022,” wrote Rep. Newhouse. “I am strongly against such action and have deep concerns regarding the United States Postal Service (USPS) decision, which could significantly impact the Mattawa community in Washington’s 4th Congressional District.”

You can read the full letter here and below.

Dear Postmaster MacDougall:

I am writing in regard to the recently announced decision to close the post office boxes at CPU Mattawa, in Mattawa, Washington beginning on January 31, 2022. I am strongly against such action and have deep concerns regarding the United States Postal Service (USPS) decision, which could significantly impact the Mattawa community in Washington’s 4th Congressional District.

The City of Mattawa and the surrounding area are growing rural communities with a relatively high population that requires fair and adequate access to postal services. This decision will require members of the Mattawa community to spend thousands of dollars to purchase and install individual or cluster mailboxes. Numerous constituents of mine oppose the decision made by the USPS because of the potential loss of mail, the negative impact on local businesses, and the undue burden placed on the most vulnerable populations in the community. Because of this, I am requesting a full justification for this decision. Please elaborate to the following justification questions.

1.     What was the process the USPS followed to convert to street delivery in the City of Mattawa? 

2.     What date did the USPS decide to convert to street delivery in the City of Mattawa? 

3.     When was the public officially notified of this decision? 

4.     Did the USPS provide a reasonable opportunity for public contestation? 

5.     Is USPS in contact with local elected leaders to discuss the financial burdens on the community, i.e., purchase and installation of community mailboxes? 

6.     To what extent will this decision impact individuals with disabilities? 

7.     How will the USPS make reasonable accommodations for vulnerable populations? 

8.     What procedures will the USPS facilitate to prevent any undue burden to the community? 

9.     How will the USPS mobile unit be utilized to assist in this process, and for what duration of time? 

10.  What measures will the USPS take to prevent theft, loss of mail, and undelivered packages?

It is imperative that these questions are answered so I may effectively assist our community. For this reason, I respectfully request this letter receive immediate consideration. I look forward to your swift attention to this request. I stand ready to meet with representatives at the earliest possible opportunity.

According to the 2020 Census, Mattawa has a population of 4,818.