Temporary retail trailer slated for February
By Michael Turton
“We are committed to staying in Cold Spring.” That was how United States Postal Service (USPS) spokesperson George Flood described the future of Cold Spring’s post office in a recent telephone interview. The current lease with Foodtown Plaza and its owner George Serroukas will keep the post office in its current location through the end of January 2014.
Flood confirmed that plans are in place for a trailer to be moved onto the vacant lot located at the corner of Marion Avenue and Benedict Road, directly behind the existing post office. The lot has been staked to show the location of the trailer. Scheduled to open on Feb. 1, it will offer the same retail services as the current post office – including more than 300 post office boxes, mailing of packages and regular mail and sale of stamps and other USPS products.
The search for a new post office location continues, Flood said, and will include public input once a candidate site is selected. That input will include meetings with Cold Spring Mayor Ralph Falloon and other local officials as well as a public meeting and the receipt of written comments. Flood said that local officials have made a number of suggestions regarding a new location, including the former Butterfield Hospital, but he declined to list any other potential sites.
During the period that the trailer is used for retail transactions in Cold Spring, carriers for the four village postal routes will operate out of the Garrison post office. “There’s probably going to be a trailer there,” as well, Flood said. A proposal to permanently shift Cold Spring’s carriers to Garrison is also being considered but a final decision has not yet been reached. “It’s very complex and it depends on what happens in Cold Spring,” Flood said.
If the Cold Spring carriers and their routes are moved to Garrison permanently, that post office will have to undergo alterations and Flood said that no such work is currently planned. The decision to run Cold Spring’s routes out of Garrison involves “a lot of moving parts,” he said. “It would have to be shown to be cost effective,” and would include such factors as availability of USPS funding – and mileage. A round trip from the Garrison post office to Cold Spring is about seven miles – not including the routes within the village.
Flood said that even if Cold Spring’s postal routes were permanently serviced from Garrison, a new retail post office would still be established in the village. Under that scenario, little would change for Cold Spring residents. “Mail would still be delivered at approximately the same time,” Flood said. “And the zip code would be the same.”