WASHINGTON, D.C. (WBTW) — South Carolina Rep. Russell Fry continued to express his frustration Wednesday with government delays in rebuilding the Longs post office, which burned down in June 2021.

Fry, whose House district includes Horry County, touched on his concerns during a subcommittee hearing with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

The Postal Service last week informed Fry’s office in a letter that a lease for a new facility had been finalized. The letter came after Fry wrote to DeJoy on April 20  asking for an update on the agency’s plans.

Fry’s April 20 letter also referenced a statement sent by the USPS to News13 in July 2022, which said that repairs were expected to be completed in early 2023, barring weather or other unexpected delays.

On Wednesday, Fry asked DeJoy why the Postal Service initially committed to having it rebuilt by early this year but then didn’t follow through in a more timely manner.

“Our role is to facilitate accurate information to the people that we represent, and quite frankly, for a little bit there we were not getting anywhere with your staff about what was going on, what was causing these delays, why has ground not been broken,” Fry said. “Why make a commitment in 2021 to complete a post office early this year, and we haven’t even started.”

DeJoy cited several reasons for the delay, noting that his agency is currently dealing with $7 billion in deferred maintenance.

“There are a lot of instances that existed around the organization that were conditions that resulted from events, from neglect, from time and so forth,” he said. “It’s a long, long list of things we need to fix.”

Fry said his goal will always be to provide constituents with information they need.

“To me, facilitating accurate information and being a help to constituents is my top priority, and I know that I share that with other people, particularly … within rural communities,” he said.

After the fire, residents were initially directed to use the post office in North Myrtle Beach. The Postal Service eventually opened a mobile unit, but it had reduced operating hours.

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Dennis Bright is a digital producer at News13. Dennis is a West Virginia native and graduate of Marshall University. He has won copyediting and journalism awards in Virginia and Ohio. Follow Dennis on Twitter and read more of his work here.