August 7, 2013 at 6:11 AM
MAPLEWOOD, NJ – The Township Committee heard a presentation from United States Post Office representative Joseph Mulvey regarding the relocation of services requested by the township due to the redevelopment of its current location.
After deciding that the property on which the post office sits would better serve the town’s residents if it were developed into a mixed-use building (or buildings), township officials opted to not renew the lease the post office holds on the property through November.
Mulvey indicated that the post office would like to find alternate space in the village which would house the retail operation as well as the delivery service in one location. The current building is 14,900 square feet, but the Postal Service has calculated that their actual need for space is approximately 8,370 square feet of interior space, plus parking to accommodate roughly 50 vehicles.
Mulvey said they would ideally like to decide upon a new location by the end of September, and that it would take an estimated four to six months to build out the space to suit their needs.
The possibility of renting their current space until such time as the new space is ready was raised. If the redevelopment is not slated to begin during that time frame, it will be explored. Mulvey said every effort will be made to maintain the same level of service during the transition.
A question was asked about the option of finding separate locations for the retail function and the delivery operation to increase options. Mulvey indicated that would not be the preferred route to take. Another resident asked about the possibility of the post office moving to the current Kings store location if the move into the new building with a larger store. Mulvey said that option would not provide enough parking for the delivery operation.
Residents may write to the Post Office with thought and concerns up until August 21. Correspondence should be sent to: Joseph J.Mulvey, U.S. Postal Service, 2 Congress St., Room 8, Milford, MA 01757-9998.
Once a new location is selected, another period for public comment will begin, and people will be able to write to Mulvey for 30 days.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, residents expressed concerns about the redevelopment project. John Harvey asked if anyone besides the Economic Development Committee would be looking at the proposals submitted by developers. When told that no one else would see them, he said, “It’s a shame more eyes won’t see the plans.”
Asked if prospective development plan submitters’ questions would be answered in public, Mayor DeLuca indicated that answers would be posted on the village website for all to see.
When asked if the list of bidders for the project would be made public, DeLuca said that a decision about that had not yet been made.
Some have questioned why the plans submitted for the project will not be available for public review once the deadline for submissions passes.
The next meeting of the Township Committee will be Sept. 3 at the Police and Courts Building.