BUTTE, Mont. - U.S. Senator Jon Tester blasted the postmaster general for moving the Butte mail processing center to Billings.
We talked to the senator this morning and he told us the move will negatively impact the Mining City and called it a "giant step back" for the Postal Service.
He said the post office does not understand the needs of rural America, and that it will increase delivery times for residents in southwest Montana.
Butte's mail processing center has been on the chopping block for more than a year, but just relocated to Billings last weekend.
"Put in this equation," explained Tester, "the distances, and Montana's known for some pretty tough winters and the roads get pretty treacherous at times, so this is a giant step backwards for the United States Postal Service, something that's addressed in the Constitution as something that we need to have and fund and make sure is operational."
Tester also explained that he's upset because postal officials previously said they would not move operations until at least 2014.
We looked back at the study done before the decision to move the Butte center, and found moving the operation would put 21 people out of work.
The study also said the move would save the Post Office $288,000 a year but that that would not happen right away.