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Evans Local Government

Claxton Council Mulls Relocation of Claxton Post Office

The Claxton City Council discussed relocating the United States Postal Office in the city limits at Monday night’s meeting.


The idea was brought forth by Mayor Terry Branch and would relocate the Post Office currently located at 7 Courthouse Street by the Evans County Courthouse and the Sheriff’s Office to the south side of town – somewhere on Highway 301. The proposed location would could be near Claxton Hardware or Mrs. Rogers’ restaurant, though no location had been set in stone or even offered as of the council meeting.

Branch told council members Monday night that the idea had been tossed around before and he read a letter aloud from the Gulf Atlanta District Manager in Jacksonville to ‘inform’ and give members of council “something to think about.”

The letter cites poor parking accommodations that are exacerbated by court days as well as an outdated facility as reasons for a new Post Office. It also says a change would ‘enhance residents ability to utilize the Post Office’ and Branch cited the drive-thru option in Hagan as another upgrade possibility. You can read the letter below.

Claxton Post Officer relocation petition

Post Offices generally work on an annual lease with a local business owner. The current Post Office was built in 1960, but there was no statement on a timeline for the expiration of the lease for the current Post Office on the Courthouse Street location. The Evans County Tax Assessor website shows the owner of 7 Courthouse Street as ‘Albert Parker Family LLP’. Branch said he spoke with the Parker family twice and “they do not have a problem with it.”

Claxton Post Office_Evans Tax Assessor

Councilman Scott Lynn said because the lease is between the USPS and a private business owner, he doesn’t believe it is the city’s responsibility to get involved. Branch said there is nothing wrong with asking the USPS to reconsider.

“Personally, I don’t think it’s my responsibility as a councilman to tell the Post Office they need to move and get someone else to build a $2 million building for someone else to use,” Lynn said.

Councilwoman Lisa Perry asked if the City was the party formally requesting the relocation. Branch said the Claxton Council would have an impact on the decision and Councilman Larry Anderson said he believed a new location needed to be considered.

The decision to relocate the Post Office is not exclusive to the City Council in Claxton. It will ultimately be up to the United States Parcel Service (USPS) and, in most instances, a move would require a public hearing held by USPS, not the City of Claxton, for input by citizens.

Councilwoman Tina Hagan asked City Attorney Bill Callaway what he suggested about proceeding forward. “I don’t know that it would be offensive to ask [the private business owner] because it is a safety problem. I can go ahead and contact our U.S. Representative. It’s better to ask him to join us,” Callaway said. He also suggested Council host a workshop for more discussion.

Congressman Rick Allen (GA-12)

Councilman Risher Willard suggested asking Congressman Rick Allen to draft a letter on the process to facilitate the city of Claxton. He said the letter should come before a workshop and Mayor Branch said he will work on the matter and bring it back to Council.

One of the main determinations for the USPS in the decision will be cost. An older building is likely to have a lower cost with regard to the lease, whereas a new structure or a newly renovated structure would be more expensive. The USPS has garnered national headlines in recent years for their financial struggles, and the erection of new post offices has been limited.

If you have an opinion on the relocation, contact your city council member or voice your opinion at the next council meeting on Monday, August 20, 2018 at 6:00 P.M.

You can read about some other cities that initiated the process to relocate their post office here and here.

Jessica Szilagyi is a former Statewide Contributor for AllOnGeorgia.com.

1 Comment

1 Comment

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