August 24, 2016

USPS Confirms To Lawmakers “No Plans” To Close Pocahontas Post Office

Wednesday, August 24, 2016 – In response to an August 4 letter to Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan in which U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) emphasized their support for a permanent postal facility in Pocahontas, Virginia, the United States Postal Service (USPS) confirmed it has “no plans to close the Post Office at this time” and that it is making “every effort to locate a permanent location as soon as possible.”  The Postal Service suspended service at the Pocahontas Post Office in April, citing safety concerns with the building.  As a result, all retail services were transferred to the Boissevain Post Office.

Rep. Griffith said, “This is certainly good news for the community in Pocahontas.  In many of our small rural communities the Post Office is one of the main community centers, and I am glad that Pocahontas will continue to have a Post Office.”

Senator Warner said, “Virginia’s rural communities deserve reliable and efficient access to Postal Service, whether it’s at home or their local Post Office. I’m glad that USPS has committed to maintaining this vital link in Pocahontas.”

The lawmakers’ August 4 letter to the Postmaster General is linked here.  The response from the USPS is linked here, and its full text can be read below. 

August 16, 2016

The Honorable H. Morgan Griffith
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515-4609

Dear Congressman Griffith,

This is in response to your August 4 letter to Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan, cosigned by Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine, on behalf of your constituents in Pocahontas, regarding the Post Office in that community.

I understand your concerns about the emergency suspension of postal operations at the Pocahontas Post Office.  Please note that emergency suspensions of postal facilities are not rare, and this was not an isolated or unique situation to Pocahontas.  Across the country, Post Offices are suspended for a myriad of reasons due to factors ranging from natural disasters and revocation of leases to personnel issues, loss of utilities, and safety concerns with the building.  When a suspension occurs, alternate service is provided as quickly as possible and a plan of action for a permanent solution is developed.  Such plans can result in the reopening of the suspended facility or the establishment of a new facility; however, they can also result in a decision to propose the discontinuance of the suspended Post Office.

We contacted the Appalachian District Officials who confirmed that the Pocahontas Post Office was temporarily suspended due to the deteriorating condition of the building, and services were moved to the Boissevain Post Office.  Pocahontas was recently reopened at an alternate location in town until a permanent facility could be found.  You and your constituents can be assured that there are no plans to close the Post Office at this time, and district officials are making every effort to locate a permanent location as soon as possible.  Should your constituents have further questions or concerns, they may contact the Appalachian District Consumer and Industry Contact office at (304) 561-1066 for assistance.

Thank you for writing.  Please let me know if I can be of further assistance with other postal issues. 

Sincerely,

Darrell Donnelly
Government Relations Representative

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