LIHUE — United States Postal Service representatives will return to Kauai on Oct. 11 to bring the community up to speed on the potential relocation of the Lihue post office.
The meeting is set for 5 p.m. at War Memorial Convention Hall, and USPS real estate specialist Greg Shelton will be there to answer questions.
The Rice Street post office’s proposed new location is in the postal-owned carrier annex property by Lihue Airport.
It was Jan. 26 when the community learned about the plan to close the Lihue location and move it closer to the airport, 1.3 miles from the current location.
A public meeting held Feb. 23 to discuss the potential closure garnered about 150 people, many of whom offered comments on the closure, both in support of and highlighting concerns about the possible move.
Kauai resident Daniel Riley testified at the February meeting, saying the current location causes problems for cyclists and pedestrians, and he thinks it should be moved.
“I’ve seen some close calls,” he said at the meeting. “I know the automobiles don’t stop for the pedestrians.”
The potential decision also comes in the midst of a Rice Street renovation, and the $13 million project to revitalize the Lihue town core.
It’s also part of Kauai’s history.
The Spanish mission-style building is one of only two post offices in Hawaii constructed during the Great Depression, and has been tenured in downtown Lihue since it was built in 1939.
“The Lihue post office is an extremely important historic building in our town and for our island heritage,” said Pat Griffin, president of Lihue Business Association in February. “It’s a well-preserved example of a small, single-purpose post office still in excellent condition and well used today.”
Shortly after the announcement of the planned closure, a grassroots effort called Save Our Post Office began on Kauai with the intent to rally the Lihue community and “those who support historic preservation and vibrant, human-centric small town and urban centers throughout the islands,” according to organizers of the movement.
Coconuts with messages supporting the Lihue post office’s current location began arriving at the San Francisco western headquarters of the USPS in January, sent from Kauai residents.
Supporters of Save Our Post Office began going door-to-door in the community, raising awareness and, in April, the USPS announced they were reconsidering the relocation.
On Wednesday, Oct. 11, the USPS will revisit the issue with Kauai’s people, and explain the potential relocation, which they say is to improve operational efficiency, parking, ingress/egress issues and reduce financial burdens facing the organization.