The Verdi Post Office remains shuttered after a Christmas day arson.
Windows were riddled with bullet holes and anti-government graffiti was sprayed along the back wall.
“It’s a horrible thing and it’s had a devastating effect here,” Verdi resident Gideon Caplovitz said. “It’s a big black eye on a wonderful neighborhood.”
A suspect is in custody but Verdi residents are left to deal with the aftermath. Right now their nearest post office - the Peavine location – is seven miles away.
“It’s difficult because you only have certain times you can get your mail,” Verdi resident Kelly Graham said. “It’s also kind of a hassle to drive eight miles into town when we’re used to just taking the dog for a walk and going to the post office.”
And there were some concerns about the future of mail in Verdi.
That’s why Thursday’s Citizen Advisory Board meeting was standing room only. About 130 people packed the local VFW to voice their concerns – even though the post office issue wasn’t on the formal agenda.
“When you’re talking about more than 900 families, that’s a huge inconvenience,” Graham said. “There’s also a lot of elderly people that don’t drive and have to have other people get their mail, there’s a lot of people that are disabled as well.”
But Postal Officials say the Peavine solution is only a temporary one. Since the Postal Service doesn’t own the building in Verdi, they’re going through the insurance process as a tenant, and that takes time.
“As a tenant, we have to follow certain procedures as the insurance company and the leaseholder work out the details,” USPS Spokesman David Rupert said. “We are currently awaiting an update and determination regarding the property before making any long-term plans.”
He says there are several options. Depending on the damage, they could gut the building and retrofit it to their standards. If the damage is too severe they might need to rebuild it. Or they could find another building.
There are contingency plans based on all scenarios and officials are meeting daily. Rupert expects some definitive answers by early next week and he says the USPS is dedicated to restoring service in Verdi as soon as possible but it could take months before a permanent location is up and running. In the meantime, the USPS hopes they can work out a scenario where Verdi residents can pick up their
mail 24 hours a day. They’ve already increased pickup hours at the Peavine location.
Residents at the meeting were pleased to hear they won’t be losing mail service for good.
“I like that because if they didn’t rebuild this post office it says that man got away with what he did,” Graham said.
“I think that’s very good news,” Caplovitz said. “We all know the Post Office has budget issues but you can’t let a quack dictate policy so I’m very happy to hear that.”
And at Thursdays meeting citizens did what they could to help those not able to easily make the trek to the next post office. They formed a committee to bring mail back to those who need it most.