The official notice was posted on September 19 and highlighted in pink are the words "Actual discontinuance date: 10/22/2011" meaning the Johnson, Arkansas Post Office, open since 1992, will cease to exist in less than a month from now.
Johnson is a small town. In 2010 its population was approximately 3,354; however, that number represents a growth rate of over 40 percent compared to 2000 when the population was approximately 2,319.
This suburb of the bustling university town of Fayetteville was incorporated in 1961. It was in 1992 that the community of Johnson got its own post office. A plaque in the foyer of the rock and wood building reads: This Building Dedicated to Public Service. 1992. George Bush, President of the United States. Marvin Runyon, Postmaster General.
Foyer of the Johnson, Arkansas Post Office with 1992 dedication plaque on the left. Johnson, Ark.
Admittedly, I usually drive through Johnson on my way to and from the Fayetteville Mall, but rarely if ever stop. I had, though, heard rumors that the Johnson Post Office was on the list of over 3,600 post offices targeted for closure. Therefore, I stopped at the Post Office the other day and was greeted with the notice pictured below.
USPS "Actual discontinuance date" notice for Johnson Post Office. Johnson, Ark.
The "Postal Bulleting Post Office Change Announcement Form" indicates the "Post Office Final Determination Posting Date" for the Johnson, Arkansas Post Office as follows: Date posted: 09/18/2001. Date removed: 10/21/2011. No. of days posted: 32.
The "Actual discontinuance date" is 10/22/2011 and was highlighted in pink in all of the notices posted throughout the building. There were two options under "Type of discontinuance" - Consolidate and Close. An "X" is marked by the "Close" option for the Johnson, Arkansas Post Office.
A large banner on a fence near the post office reads: Save the Johnson Post Office!! Call Boozman & Pryor. B#C.C.202-224-4843 P#D.C.202-224-2353. John Boozman and Mark Pryor are the United States Senators from Arkansas.
"Save the Johnson Post Office!!" sign. Johnson, Ark.
It was on July 26 that the U.S. Postal Service stated the following, "the U.S. Postal Service announced today that it will be taking the next step in right-sizing its expansive retail network by conducting studies of approximately 3,700 retail offices to determine customer needs." The "Village Post Office" was introduced as a "potential replacement option" for some affected communities.
It does not appear that Johnson is among the communities in which the Village Post Office option will be utilized by the USPS. As noted in a report by KNWA (video included), the Johnson, Arkansas Post Office's "last day of business will be October 21st."
Customer Bradley Nickel was quoted as saying, "It is sad, I mean not just this one but all the other ones too, a lot of jobs will be lost."
When the closure of the Johnson, Arkansas Post Office was still a rumor instead of reality, a customer, Pat Flippo, was quoted by KNWA as saying, "I think that in a town this size that we should have our own post office. There's no long lines or waiting and quite frankly I would take a whooping before I would go into the city of Fayetteville and fight the traffic and the lines."
Johnson, Arkansas Post Office slated for closure on 10/22/2011.
For Flippo and other residents of Johnson, going to Fayetteville is exactly what they will have to do. According to the notice, the "New last line of customer address is: Fayetteville, AR, 72704." Amid the USPS' "right-sizing" efforts and local pleas for citizens to contact their senators, it does not look like the quaint Johnson, Arkansas Post Office will be saved.