‘I urge the USPS to investigate all options that would enable the Washington Post Office to remain within the town boundary’
Virginia Republican Rep. Denver Riggleman has weighed in on the potential move of the U.S. Post Office outside of the town of Washington, saying if that were to happen then “Washington would be the only county seat in the Commonwealth of Virginia without a post office.”
In a letter dated March 1 addressed to Megan Brennan, Postmaster General of the U.S. Postal Service in Washington, D.C., the 5th district congressman representing Rappahannock County wrote that it had come to his attention that the USPS is considering relocating the historic Washington Post Office, which has been in the town for 215 years, to a new facility outside town limits.
“Many patrons of this facility live in the Town of Washington, most within walking distance of the current post office,” the congressman said. “The proposed site for the new facility is two miles from town, on a busy highway and at the far end of the 22747 postal zone.
“Many of my constituents have contacted me to express their frustration over an inconvenient and less accessible location. While moving the facility to another location may be inevitable, I urge the USPS to investigate all options that would enable the Washington Post Office to remain within the town boundary.”
Furthermore, Riggleman pointed out: “If this facility is moved out of town, Washington would be the only county seat in the Commonwealth of Virginia without a post office.”
The Republican lawmaker concluded his letter by saying: “I appreciate your attention to this matter, and sincerely thank you for the time and effort you have dedicated to this issue. I agree that it is a practice of good government to ensure postal operations throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia run smoothly, effectively, and serve the interests of the American people. “
Brennan has served as Postmaster General since 2015, the first woman to hold the office. Previously, as USPS vice president of Eastern Area Operations, she was in charge of postal facilities in parts of Virginia.
Two weeks after announcing its decision was final to move the Washington Post Office into a new facility two miles south of the county seat, adjacent to Union Bank & Trust on Lee Highway, the Postal Service last month suddenly changed course, confirming that it was once again considering two site options, one inside town limits.
“No final decision had been made regarding site selection for relocation of the Washington, VA, Post Office,” USPS Manager of Strategic Communications Tom Ouellette wrote to this newspaper in mid-February. “We are still evaluating our options.”
The apparent change of heart by Postal officials came only days after Washington Mayor Fred Catlin and former Washington Mayor John Fox Sullivan issued a public “call to action” to save the post office, warning that the town’s future viability and economic growth was hanging in the balance.
Town Council officials also recently launched a petition drive to register opposition to the removal of the post office.