Aripeka post office slated to close gets new lease, will stay open

ARIPEKA, Fla. - "Aripeka's always had a post office, a long time before I was born," said Carl Norfleet.

That was 71 years ago, but it all changed back in September when Norfleet said the postal service shut down the small Aripeka Post Office because of an issue with the building's owner. 

Norfleet stepped up to the plate, bought the building, and offered to sign a new lease, but couldn't get the USPS to open back up. 

"There was a sense of dread in Aripeka. They just didn't like it.  A lot of people not only didn't like it, but they didn't quite know what to do about it," Norfleet said.

That forced the people of Aripeka to drive 15-miles round trip to the Hudson Post Office to get their mail. 

"Many of our residents, well most of them, are retired.  We have disabled people, people who have no license, people who ride bicycles to get to the stores or catch a ride, so it's a real inconvenience for most the people here," said Anna Rock, an Aripeka resident.

Residents came together to find a solution and held public meetings to save the post office.

"We enjoy this little post office in this little town," said Donna Majecic. 

But it's not until they contacted ABC Action News that Norfleet said the postal service heard their concerns, and agreed to reopen. 

Regular service is expected before Thanksgiving. 

"They got ahold of people like you that helped put the light of day on the problem and kept it right in the public eye for a long time, and finally, the post office came around and we say 'thank you,'" Norfleet said.

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