Why Post Offices are crucial to the landscape of a healthy downtown

Feb 16 2024

On January 8 th , 2024, Ben Doyle, chair of the Montpelier flood of 2023 Commission and Montpelier’s
congressional delegation called for a rally to restore its downtown post office, after the building which
housed it was devastated during last summer’s historic flooding. Community members spanning all
ages demonstrated their needs and frustrations in order to bring federal attention to the impact of
this essential, yet missing public service.

Montpelier’s downtown - being the downtown of the State’s Capital - is the economic, cultural, and
civic center of Vermont. The lack of convenient access to a post office has far-reaching implications on
a myriad of levels which make up the foundation of a healthy and thriving downtown.

In a conversation with Ben Doyle, Ben shared his thoughts on what it means for a post office to be
included in the landscape of a healthy downtown: “It’s so critical for every aspect of our lives - whether it’s civic, social, economic, and ultimately what it
means to be in a community - and to have a government that works for the people and serves the

On an economic level, lack of an anchor institution such as the post office forces downtown Montpelier businesses still struggling to recuperate from the flooding to face yet another threat to
the vitality of their operations - shipping of products purchased to their customers. The impact has
been substantial with business overhead taking a serious hit due to commuting back and forth to the nearest post office in Montpelier’s sister City, Barre. On the social front, downtown Montpelier’s aging and non-driving population, who relied on the post office being within walkable distance, has been struggling with ways to obtain necessary medications. The lack of a functional post office in the downtown of a state’s capital is baffling to most, and is inconsistent with the progress the rest of the City has made with flood recovery.

Doyle also stated: “I feel like there’s a huge missed opportunity here for people to come together and say - “What does a resilient post office in the 21 st century look like in a downtown like Montpelier?”

The impressively quick restoration and resilience of downtown Montpelier after historic flooding is a testament to its strong sense of community. It seems as though the strength of Montpelier’s community
is, once again, being tested - and this time, pertaining to downtown Montpelier’s potential for an efficient and inclusive future after devastation.

By: Sheena Khan, Montpelier Alive Marketing and Communications

share this