Meeting set on Lihue post office plan

LIHUE — A meeting regarding the potential closure of the Rice Street post office will be held Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. at Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall.

Comments will be accepted at the meeting, and representatives from the United States Postal Service will explain the proposal, which is to consolidate the Lihue post office’s retail operations at 4441 Rice St. with delivery operations at its Carrier Annex at 3230 Kapule Highway.

Kauai residents learned about the plans on Monday when a notice was posted at the Rice Street location. The proposed closure was confirmed Wednesday by USPS staff members, who expanded on the notice.

“This location would provide much improved access for Lihue postal customers, who have had to deal with increasingly challenging parking and access issues at our 4441 Rice St. facility over the years,” said Duke Gonzales of USPS.

Under the proposal, all Lihue post office box customers would have their boxes transferred to the new location, Gonzales said. Addresses would remain the same.

No jobs would be lost under the proposal, because employees would be transferred.

The idea of closing the Rice Street location came as a shock to local residents and business owners, many of whom live and work close to the branch, and the plan is drawing opposition.

Mark Perriello, president of the Chamber of Commerce; Sue Kanoho, executive director of Kauai Visitors Bureau; and Pat Griffin, president of the Lihue Business Association, all voiced opposition to the plan.

The Lihue post office was cited as being an important part of the Rice Street revitalization efforts.

“Closing the Rice Street post office in Lihue would be extremely disruptive to the businesses and residents of Kauai,” Perriello said.

Written comments must be received by Feb. 8 and can be mailed to: Jody Lowe, Real Estate Specialist, USPS Facilities Office, PO Box 27497, Greensboro, NC 27498-1103.

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