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Postal Service seeks residents for Dickinson advisory committee

DICKINSON, N.D. -- The United States Postal Service is looking for a few good citizens in Dickinson.

At an informational meeting Tuesday night at the Dickinson Public Library, USPS Dakotas District outreach program manager Karen Fredrickson said her employer his accepting applications from people interested in serving on a postal consumer advisory council for Dickinson.

“This part of North Dakota is a little unique,” Fredrickson said. “This area is experiencing great growth, and that’s not happening in most other parts of the country. We’d like to get a group going to help us understand the customer’s perspective on what their concerns are and what their expectations are.”

Calling the potential council “the voice of the citizens in Dickinson,” Fredrickson said CACs already exist in Watford City, Williston, Minot and Bismarck. The task the councils are charged with, Fredrickson said, is to help come up with solutions for issues that postal customers have been having in oil-impacted areas.

Though a community roundtable discussion hosted by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., on Jan. 10 in Dickinson was packed, only three people joined Fredrickson and Dickinson Post Office acting Postmaster Mary Kylander for Tuesday’s meeting on a snowy evening.

The council would ideally have 10 to 12 members and a chairperson, Fredrickson said. The committee would meet on a bimonthly basis.

Applications were mailed to all Dickinson P.O. box customers — about 1,400. Fredrickson added that an additional mailing of applications would likely take place.

The Dickinson Post Office has struggled in recent years with employee retention and with a number of facets associated with delivering the mail to its growing customer base, largely because of energy impacts in and around the city.

Long lines at the Dickinson branch also have become a norm in recent years, but Frederickson said the facility would likely be adding a self-serve kiosk this year, possibly as early as May. Because of hiring difficulties, Fredrickson said Dickinson has been without a postmaster for “several years,” though she added that Bismarck is also without a postmaster.

Bryan Horwath
A Wisconsin native, Horwath has been covering news in the Oil Patch of North Dakota since 2012. Horwath currently serves as the senior agriculture and political reporter for The Dickinson Press and, despite the team's tendency to always let him down, remains a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
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