A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

PO move? City panel eyes 2 sites

Written May 9th, 2017 by Hasso Hering

Albany Mayor Sharon Konopa and, from left, Assistant City Manager Jorge Salinas and Councilmen Mike Sykes and Dick Olsen look at maps of potential post office sites, in green, on Monday.

Nobody knows yet if the Postal Service would consider moving its Albany office, but a city committee intends to approach the federal agency with at least a couple of proposals at potential sites.

One is  the former Safeway store at Calapooia Street and Pacific Boulevard. The second is a piece of mostly vacant property bounded by Pacific, Seventh Avenue, Madison Street and the off-ramp from Pacific to Seventh. There’s a third potential site two blocks east of the second, but the several owners of that one have not been contacted.

Five members of Mayor Sharon Konopa’s 10-member “Historic Properties Ad Hoc Work Group” met again Monday. The mayor formed the group to explore what do about the old and unused Cumberland church on Main Street and to see about getting the post office moved. The group plans to meet again June 5.

In the meantime, city officials Jorge Salinas and Ed Hodney said they would start working up proposals on how the first two sites could work for the post office if it wants to move. Presumably a location would have to be secured and the city or a developer would have to build or remodel a structure to postal specifications and then lease or sell it to the post office. The two sites lie within the CARA urban renewal district, the mayor has noted. Chances are she’s thinking of getting CARA involved.

But, the mayor said, “If the post office doesn’t want to move, there’s not much we can do.”

As for the old church, which the group would like to see moved to vacant city property near the Albany Skatepark and Hackleman Park, Hodney said the next step is to get an engineer to check and see whether the building can even be moved at all, and if so at what cost. Only when that is known would it make sense to work up further plans. (hh)

The city panel is considering the lot behind the fence for the post office. Pacific Boulevard is on the right.

The former Safeway store also is still on the work group’s list.



Posted in: Commentary, News

13 responses to “PO move? City panel eyes 2 sites”

  1. Terry says:

    More Stupidity. Will they never cease to invent new ways to frivously spend our money? And of course CARA is being touted. The little pet project slush fund!

  2. centrist says:

    Sales, marketing, engineering management, and government share a mechanism.
    Identify a need/opportunity/problem
    Identify and evaluate options for viable solution
    Pitch the best cases

  3. Court Smith says:

    Court Smith Ignorant waste of money to put Satan’s Carousel downtown. I guess the dumbing down of America is complete. Maybe a mall in Bryant Park with an Elon Musk’s giant Johnson tube squirting people willy nilly, wait, space X can launch a pencil over a building without CGI!!!

  4. John Hartman says:

    Since the mayor promised that no tax dollars would be used in the attempt to move “This Old Church” to another locale, who is paying the wages of the folks in the photograph who appear to be working on “This Old Church.” Is the “Study Group” made up of unpaid volunteers?

    • Bill Kapaun says:

      Ditto for all this planning for IF the PO moves.
      I see no reason the PO should move, since it’s hand for downtown businesses that always seem to get their wheels greased.

      What is PLAN B when the Merry Go Round fails?

      • hj.anony1 says:

        Who says it will fail? Besides you BK? Is that just your wishful thinking?

  5. Rolland Brower says:

    Why not move the senior center to the old Safeway, have more parking for those who use the senior center and a place to park some busses after they drop off people for the Carousel

  6. Tony White says:

    This should be good: two governmental agencies butting heads.

  7. Claudia Painter says:

    Sad that the old Safeway location has been empty. How many years now? Ideas what could locate there? What about Olive Garden? Or, more space for places like JoAnn’s and several other stores useful for the West Albany neighborhood.

    I welcome the west folks to patronize our soon-to-be-open North Albany IGA.

    Why move the post office? Is there a need? The current location is useful. I just wish their phone line would work. I always get a busy signal.

  8. John says:

    When we moved into our Warehouse, the city of Albany made us get a handicap parking spot in our gravel lot in order to get our building occupancy. At that point, we had never had a local customer and rarely do now. So, how could they go from being so ridiculously restrictive with us to allowing a tourist attraction be built without parking?

  9. Randy Peppers says:

    Does Safeway even want to sell? Does the City of Albany even own the church? Why not move the post office to the empty building they have over by the recycle center? Who pays for these think tanks?

    • Hasso Hering says:

      Safeway does not own the building. Albany does own the old church. The post office does not own a building they used to lease on Ferry Street. What think tanks? The mayor formed her work group comprised of her, two council members and volunteers. The city staff works with the group as part of its regular employment. So far there has been no extra expense, as far as I know. (hh)


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