The United States Postal Service (USPS) held a meeting Thursday, June 16, to discuss the new post office scheduled to be built in the Ocean View/Millville area.
Primarily, it was held to open communication with the public and make sure they know what is going on and dispel any rumors that may exist about the project.
The existing post office building is roughly 2,000 square feet. USPS Real Estate Specialist John Gordon said he expects the new building to be anywhere from 6,500 to 7,000 square feet.
“We are going to try and accommodate a 20-year growth period,” Gordon said.
No exact location for the new facility has been determined by the Postal Service, but they are looking for a 3- or 4-acre lot within a desired geographical range.
“I’d like it to be in Ocean View,” Gary Meredith, mayor of that town, said. “There are a couple of areas off of Route 26 that could be a possibility.”
Following the meeting, advertisements were to be sent out to the community. They will contain much of the same information that was included in the meeting but will also ask for submissions for a site. That process will last for 30 days. After the 30-day period is up, a site will be selected.
Gordon said that after a site is selected, optimistically, it could be about 18 months before the new building is completed.
The building will be constructed according to a standard plan from the Postal Service.
“We now try to make the buildings blend into the community,” Gordon said. “It will be attractively done.”
As for the old building, it will be sold, to someone. It will be first put on the market to the federal government. If it is not sold then, the sale will move down to state, county and municipal governments. If no one buys it in that string, the Postal Service disposal wing will then give it to a broker and make it available to the public.
“We expect to get a lot of money for it in this area,” Gordon said.
There are a few things that could slow down the process, such as an inability to find the right size property, or a capital freeze from the USPS budget. A capital freeze occurred a couple years ago. It shut down and eventually killed all the projects that the Postal Service had in the works. But Gordon doesn’t anticipate that happening this time.
The Millville/Ocean View area is fortunate to have received consideration for the project, as about 40 percent of the post offices in the United States have been designated as needing expansion. But because of the big population shift in the area, it was selected.
With the change will come some inconvenience. Gordon said that usually happens in such cases and is hard to avoid. Postal routes may eventually be consolidated as populations change.
“There is potential for change down the road,” Post Master Lucy Strauss said. “We are trying to improve mail delivery.”