Ardenvoir post office will remain open

Daryl Wilcox: Owner of Cooper’s General Store
and Cafe in Ardenvoir

Ernie Swanson, spokesman for regional post office operations in Seattle, wrote in an e-mail Thursday the U.S. Postal Service will let the Cooper General Store and Cafe keep its post office — and Ardenvoir can keep its 98811 ZIP code after the store’s owner completed several requested improvements.

“Woo hoo! That’s wonderful. I’m so happy for these people,” screamed Edie Montes when she heard the news. Montes, who leases a cafe adjoining Cooper’s Cafe and post office, said the store’s owner, Daryl Wilcox, had his nephew make several repairs to bring the building into compliance. Repairs included separating the store and post office from the cafe where alcohol is served, repairing an existing door directly from the outside to the post office, putting a heater in the post office, caulking drafty cracks in the post office’s walls and cleaning up the entryways to the post office from the outside and from within the store. A postal inspector looked at the changes Wednesday.

“It really didn’t take much,” Montes said. “I can’t wait to start telling everybody. This is so important to everyone up here.”

In interviews for a Dec. 31 Wenatchee World story, several Ardenvoir residents said loss of the post office would threaten the community’s social fiber and the town’s existence. The combined general store, cafe and post office is the only business in the town of approximately 200 people.

The postal service sent a letter to Wilcox last month stating the post office would close Jan. 16 and local residents would have to begin picking up their mail in Entiat, 12 miles away, or put up rural route mailboxes.

Swanson said the decision to close the post office was because Wilcox had made some changes to the store that made it difficult to get into the post office and had applied for a second liquor license to serve beer and wine in the store. The liquor license application was rejected, making that issue moot, Wilcox said.

The post office has been part of the store since the town was established in 1932.

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