A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

PO move? City panel keeps talking

Written June 12th, 2017 by Hasso Hering

The Albany Post Office on Monday afternoon. A city committee keeps talking of getting it to move.

Albany Mayor Sharon Konopa’s work group on moving the post office and an old city-owned church building kept plugging away Monday but got no closer to the main question: Under what circumstances would the post office even consider relocating to another site?

The group seemed to accept a suggestion by Rich Catlin, one of its members, to find out how Portland went about relocating a post office. So far the Albany group has not approached the Postal Service about the relocation idea.

On Monday the group got information about two sites members are considering for the post office, the long-vacant former Safeway store at Pacific and Calapooia Street, and mostly vacant land bordered by Pacific, Madison and Seventh.

Owners of the old Safeway would lease it to the post office for $10,000 a month. If they had to spend money on remodeling first, the lease fee would be more.

At the other site, in two ownerships, somebody would have to build a post office, which real estate agent Gary Brown said would probably cost $4-4.5 million. One of the owners is willing to sell, but the other would insist on leasing the land.

The Postal Service owns its Albany building. Newly appointed Postmaster Pamela Moody said last month the decision would be up to somebody higher up, but she couldn’t see why the office would want to start making lease payments again.

The panel’s other issue is moving the old Cumberland Presbyterian Church at Main Street and Santiam Road. Moving it to city-owned land next to the Albany Skatepark, as the panel wants, would cost about $60,000, not counting a foundation to put it on, according to quotes from two companies that move buildings.

Parks Director Ed Hodney volunteered to get started on the staff work to figure out how the building would be used at the new site, what would be around it, and how much all this would cost. Somebody mentioned the total would be $200,000 to $300,000.

The idea seems to be that public funds, probably urban renewal money from CARA, would pay for the move, followed by a drive for donations and grants to cover the rest.

If all this sounds vague, that’s how this work group has worked. Usually there are no motions with specifics, just remarks and a general nodding of heads.

The group’s next meeting is at noon Monday, July 10, at City Hall. (hh)

10 responses to “PO move? City panel keeps talking”

  1. Bill Kapaun says:

    Are they being paid for this exercise in futility?

  2. Ritchj says:

    The Portland Post Office is a completely different beast. Not only is it a Post Office, it is also a processing and distribution facility and the district office. The City of Portland is paying 88 MILLION for the 13 acre site plus has to create a new retail Post Office In Downtown Portland. Built in the 60s, across from the former Post Office and near the train station, it was once in the middle of a warehouse district. Now it is yuppie central, too small for postal operations and since mail goes by air and not rail, no longer needs to be by the train tracks. The Post Office, a non tax dollar funded agency will do what is best for their pockets and the business. Some poorly placed wooden horses, idiotic parking and an undecuated city goverment having a bad high school hair day is just a waste of local money and time.

  3. Eric says:

    I agree that it doesn’t make fiscal sense for the (already struggling) USPS to take on huge and unnecessary debt. A far better compromise would be for the city to propose funding a historic facade be built onto the east and south sides of the current post office. Then the city could have its downtown appearance enhanced (which seems to be the rub, and I agree the postal building isn’t the most pleasant to look at), and the post office could maintain its operations as-is.

  4. Shawn Dawson says:

    The USPS must not spend a dime for this move. Neither the city nor the USPS should pay $10,000 / month in order to get some parking near the carousel.

    I would think that the only thing the USPS should consider would be a flat out swap of the current post office for a building and land that the city owns, that would be suitable for USPS operations.

    If the city held on to the old police station, as a for instance, they could have offered to swap that land and building for the current post office. Perhaps there is an old school building that would be suitable, that the 8J school district would consider swapping.

  5. Ray Kopczynski says:

    As I see it, all the discussions here are around how the move could help the Carousel for parking. However, other than spending a huge sum to build a new P.O. someplace else, why would the P.O. even consider doing so? Just because some of us would “Iike” them to move? I sure could be wrong, but at this juncture, I don’t see the intrinsic or inherent advantage of them doing so…

    • Bill Kapaun says:

      I seldom agree with you on most issues because you like to spend money, but I’ll give you credit for at least having the guts to post here-

      ARE people being paid for the “mayors work group”?
      IF they are, how were they selected to represent the citizens of our city?

      Since the mayor/council have traditionally been in the pocket of downtown business, has she asked their “permission”?

  6. Rich Kellum says:

    We do not know how much parking will be needed, there will be a big influx to begin with and then it will go down, how far is the question……… there is a better place if we are to make a parking structure, two rivers market parking lot, and we already own it, cover that first, then look toward the county lot if more is needed… that is more centrally located for all of downtown not just one end..


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