East Hawaii News

Meeting Set to Discuss Pahoa Post Office Contingency Plans

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The June 27 lava flow doesn’t currently threaten the Pahoa Post Office, but officials will hold a meeting for members of the community to give an update on possible contingency plans in the event that lava from Kilauea Volcano puts the current site at risk.

The meeting will be held Tuesday at 1 p.m. at the Pahoa Post Office.

Duke Gonzales, APR, Corporate Communications Specialist for the United States Post Office, described the meeting as just a “regulatory formality.” The current emergency plan is to serve affected customers from an emergency alternate site near Pahoa in the case that the current Post Office location is forced to evacuate.

Gonzales said that no changes have been made to the Post Office’s contingency plan.

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The current situation was addressed in a letter from Greg Wolny, USPS District Manager, to U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono on Dec. 23.

“Because of our concerns over the potential long-term impact of the lava flows, though, we have leased commercial space near Pahoa that could serve as an emergency alternate facility. Our hope is that we won’t need to use this facility but, if we do have to evacuate our Pahoa Post Office at 15-2859 Pahoa Village Road due to the lava flow, we want to be prepared,” said Wolny in the letter.

The location of the leased commercial space will be announced at a later date, according to Gonzales.

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“The Postal Service is bound by the Community Relations Regulations contained in the Code of Federal Regulations which is based on 39 CFR 241.4. We must follow a specific process whenever relocating a retail operation in order to keep the governing officials and the public apprised of our project progress. The first step in the process is to meet with the governing official to review the project requirements,” Wolny explained in the letter.

Wolny is expected to be at the meeting, joining other postal officials. Members of the community are invited to attend.

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