Residents in one Johnston County town are upset their post office has closed. Last Monday, the US Postal Service abruptly closed the post office in Pine Level.
US Postal Service facility inspectors reportedly determined the leased building had severe damage and was unsafe for both their employees and customers. Among the reported issues were leaks in the roof, beams coming through the ceiling and cracks in the foundation. There were also unconfirmed reports of mold.
Since last Monday, all mail operations in Pine Level, including the pickup of mail has been transferred to the Selma post office about 3 miles away, where mail is being delivered by hand over the counter.
Because so many people from Pine Level work in other cities, many were unable to get to the Selma Post Office between 8am and 5pm, so the postal service has extended the hours an additional 2 hours and will be open until 7:00pm Monday through Friday. The Selma Post Office is also open from 8:30am until 11:00am on Saturday’s.
About 625 people have post office boxes in Pine Level.
US Congressman David Rouzer said his office has been made aware of the closing and is working with the US Postal Service to try and reach a quick resolution. “The US Postal Service is very much aware of the community’s concern and my own that these repairs occur as quickly as possible,” Rouzer told WTSB News. “Considering that the USPS does not own the building, the owner of the building has passed, and the damage to the building has been determined to be a hazard for customers and employees alike other accommodations are being pursued. We will continue to work with the USPS to resolve this satisfactorily.”
“We appreciate the postal service attempting to accommodate us with the extended hours,” Pine Level Mayor Pro Tem Jimmy Garner told WTSB News on Monday. “However we want a resolution as soon as possible.”
“Seniors who walk to the post office, some can’t drive that far to Selma. It puts them at a great issue,” Garner said. “We’re not mad at the postal service but we don’t want it to go on for a year.”
WTSB News has learned the US Postal Service is working on an Emergency Relocation for the Pine Level Post Office. There is no timeline in place but postal officials are reportedly looking for another site in town to relocate the post office. Whether the new site will be temporary or permanent is uncertain.
The Postal Service has notified Pine Level mail customers about the issues and has apologized for the inconvenience and hardship.