The proposal to close the Lihue post office is already drawing opposition from several leaders of Kauai organizations.
For those working on the revitalization of Rice Street, removing the Rice Street post office seems counterintuitive.
“Closing the Rice Street post office in Lihue would be extremely disruptive to the businesses and residents of Kauai,” said Mark Perriello, president of the Chamber of Commerce.
Sue Kanoho, executive director of Kauai Visitors Bureau, said she was against closing the Lihue post office and planned to write a letter to the Postal Service.
“I was shocked, as many are, to know this was even an option for our island and the heart of Lihue,” she said.
Pat Griffin, president of the Lihue Business Association, said the LBA has worked for many years with the county and other organizations to make the town core a wonderful place to live, work and play, with convenient access to goods and services.
She said the post office is a key part of the revitalization plan.
“If postal services are moved to the USPS facility adjacent to the airport, people will no longer be able to walk to the post office,” Griffin said. “They’ll have to get into cars and onto Kapule Highway. Such a location change is old-style thinking, exactly opposite of today’s accepted planning practices.”
Griffin said thousands of postal patrons come to Lihue every day to work in county and state buildings as well as in professional and commercial establishments. Many others live in surrounding neighborhoods, condos and rentals, including several dozen kupuna in the nearby Kaniko‘o senior housing project.
“Although the proposed move might be narrowly good for the USPS, it is bad for the life of the community,” Griffin said. “We hope that postal officials will gain a larger perspective of the Rice St. facility as an central part of this community and scrap plans to abandon the town core.”