Lake Wylie’s post office closed, but it could re-open soon in the same location.
On Monday morning, the Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce faxed a letter to postal officials in Colorado asking for a transfer of the postal contract for a Lake Wylie station. They intended to mail a copy later in the day.
U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman (R-Dist. 5) also received a copy. Susan Bromfield, chamber president, said she understood Norman was in the process Monday of sending his own letter of support.
“I reached out to the USPS regarding the Lake Wylie closing, and learned that this location is a contract postal unit, which is a type of operation whereby a private operator provides postal products and services under contract with the postal service,” Norman said.
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“Officials noted that the Lake Wylie CPU is temporarily closed.”
Postal workers are working toward new options for a Lake Wylie site, he said. A new location is Lake Wylie is part of a larger issue Norman wants to address regarding postal service.
“Due to the multiple postal issues facing the fifth district, I am in the process of writing a letter to the postmaster general about these issues,” Norman said. “Specifically, the issues I am addressing are the poor service from the post offices and the potential for postal locations in Indian Land.”
The post office on Latitude Lane closed during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend. Local mail is available at the Clover station. There are two United State Postal Service mail drop locations, one near Publix and another by the Lake Wylie Public Library, along with several businesses that send mail.
“People are not totally without ways to mail things (locally),” Bromfield said.
Still, businesses in particular need a local post office, she said. The chamber letter cites the growing number of homes now and thousands more planned for the area.
“Many businesses have opened and depend on local mail service with post office boxes,” it reads.
The first Lake Wylie location came back in the 1980s, at Home Federal Bank in the Wilkerson building, near Lake Wylie Plaza. About a decade later it moved a little closer to Buster Boyd Bridge. Jack Allen then got the contract and moved the post office into Jac-Lyn’s Hallmark. It was there many years before moving eight years ago to Latitude Lane.
All those moves were accompanied by similar letters.
“We wrote these same kind of letters then,” Bromfield said.
Allen died last year before an arrangement was complete to transfer the postal contract to someone else. His widow is ill now and unable to run the site. There had been discussion before Allen’s death about local businessman Roger Schwartz taking over the station. Schwartz and partners own the business center where the post office is.
The chamber letter asks post office officials to transfer the contract to Schwartz so the post office can open again without moving . Bromfield said she wouldn’t anticipate the reopening taking long, once approved by postal officials.
“As quickly as they can do it,” she said. “The location is there. The post office boxes are there. Roger owns the building, so there’s no negotiation that has to happen. It’s just a matter of the post office approving the paperwork. The post office could open tomorrow.”
It’s unclear to what extent the brief federal government shutdown may have impacted a decision.
According to the chamber letter, a newly opened station could have twice the number of post office boxes, security cameras, new computer systems for international or bulk mail and 24/7 access to post office boxes.
Philip Bogenberger, spokesperson for the United States Postal Service, said for now customers can pick up their mail at the 913 Bethel St. location in Clover, along with a new PO box key. He also referred Lake Wylie customers to the drop off sites near Publix and the library.
Bogenberger did refer to the closing as temporary.
“The Lake Wylie contract postal unit is temporarily closed,” he said. “The postal service is working diligently to identify nearby locations for a new contract postal unit.”
Customers with questions can call the Clover station at 803-222-4697.