Ocean View officials reconsider new post office location plans

Ocean View Mayor Gary Meredith added a last-minute item to the Nov. 1 town council agenda, noting that he had received an unusual amount of correspondence, telephone calls and in-person comments regarding the town’s preferred location for a new post office.

In an informal discussion of the issue at a previous workshop meeting, a consensus of council members had supported a proposed location neighboring the planned future home of the town’s police department on Central Avenue, near the Country Village and Bear Trap subdivisions.

Meredith said residents had contacted him to oppose that location — particularly Meredith’s own neighbors in Country Village and that general area of the town, who said the resulting traffic would be a practical and safety nightmare for them. In fact, they said, it would be the least desirable among several locations mentioned as possibilities.

The mayor said he had referred their concerns to the U.S. Postal Service, which will make the location decision in the end. But, for his part, he said he personally had opposed the Central Avenue location and continued to do so, and had sent a personal letter to Postal Service officials stating his opposition.

Meredith instead supports the location known as “the Banks property,” off Cedar Drive and Old School Lane, and a short distance from both Route 26 and Central Avenue. (He said he felt most area residents favored a location near the intersection of Route 26 and Route 17, since the post office would serve not only Ocean View but Millville and unincorporated Clarksville.)

Council Member Bill Wichmann noted the discussion of the issue at the council workshop had not been an in-depth one and said he agreed that the Banks property was the best choice.

Council Member Wade Spanutius said he also favored the location but pointed out that he felt a traffic light would be needed at Route 26 and Old School Lane as a result, due to the number of drivers accessing the post office who would then try to exit out onto Route 26 from the road. Getting across Route 26, or heading west on that road, would be nearly impossible without a new traffic right there, he said.

Meredith disagreed on the latter point, saying he thought the postal patrons would go out through Cedar Drive, hitting Route 26 at the Central Avenue traffic light. Council Member Eric Magill seconded that notion and said be felt others would cut through the parking lot of the shopping center now under construction at Cedar and Route 26 to access a traffic light at Old Mill Drive.

Police Chief Ken McLaughlin, however, agreed that a new traffic light on Route 26 might be necessary.

The discussion established the Banks property as town officials’ preferred location, but council members left the issue open for future discussion.