P.O. boxes, other services could move ad hoc
By Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong
Key U.S. Postal Service functions might move ad hoc to the VFW building in Cold Spring, as an effort to retain a post office in the village, Philipstown Supervisor Richard Shea revealed at the end of a routine 2014 budget-setting workshop Thursday night (Oct. 24).
The town government owns the VFW building, which consists of a large public meeting room and a separate, smaller unit used by Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) members from Post 2362. Although a bit worn and drab inside, the large hall has been used for village and town government board meetings and served as an election polling station for a time.
Shea said the idea of housing some basic USPS features there originated with a question about relocating the panel of post-office boxes – the private mail cubbyholes rented by customers – to the VFW. He said that not only the postal boxes, but perhaps other customer services could operate from the VFW while attempts to find a permanent home for the post office go forward. The post office has long been considered a tenant for the mixed-used complex envisioned as in the old Butterfield Hospital redevelopment, a project which remains in the planning phase.
“It’s not like we’re sitting idly by” as the clock ticks down on the current post office lease, expected to run out around the end of November, and letting an important public service vanish from Cold Spring, Shea told his Town Board colleagues. He said he intended to discuss the matter in further detail with USPS officials the following day (Oct. 25).
“I think it would be a phenomenal use of the space,” Town Board Member John Van Tassel said on hearing the news.
Shea said putting a USPS office at the VFW site would not affect activities of the veterans, who could continue to use their own headquarters there.