Aripeka post office closes its doors for good, leaving many in the small town upset

Post office closed September 13, 2013

People in the small town of Aripeka in Pasco County are upset about their post office closing. One of those upset is Anna Rock.

"It's the only way we can get out mail," Anna said.

"We have no other means of getting our mail other than this post office."

 

Anna has lived in Aripeka for over 43 years.

 

During that time her weekly visits to the town's post office included more than just sending and picking up mail.

 

"We come here, we find out who's ill, who's in the hospital, if someone's deceased, if someone needs help," she said.

 

Now she says it's the town that needs help.

 

On September 13 the post office closed its doors for good. All that's left, a mailbox out front for people to drop off their mail.

 

"There's no delivery for anybody in Ariepeka. It's just mind boggling when I heard it. It was just beyond belief," Anna said.

 

People in Aripeka are mostly upset about what they have to do now to get their mail. They have to drive 10 miles to Hudson to the post office there, and then drive 10 miles back home.

 

"The handicapped and disabled and people without licenses they can not do it," Anna said.

 

"You have to try and depend on someone, hopefully someone will give you a ride."

 

The U.S. Postal Service says it was a dispute about the lease between them and the owner of the building that lead to the closing. 

 

Carl Norfleet, a lifelong resident of Aripeka, is currently in the process of buying the building from its current owner. "This post office is this community," he said.

 

He plans to try and work out a new lease with the postal service.

 

"If they're willing to sit down and bargain in good faith then this will get over very, very quickly and people can start getting their mail right here again," Carl said.

 

Giving Aripeka back its post office and community gathering place.

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