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Postal Service picks north valley site

by Christy Chalmers

The U.S. Postal Service has picked the southwest corner of Highway 395 and Mica Drive as the site of a new post office that will serve north Carson Valley residents, an official said Tuesday.

Bob MacGill, a real estate specialist for the agency, said he sent letters to County Commissioner Kelly Kite, who represents the area, and County Manager Dan Holler notifying them of the decision. MacGill said he hopes to have official reaction to the choice by Aug. 19.

“We’re going to post a letter in the Minden post office, so if the community wants to respond, that’s fine,” said MacGill. “That will take care of the north part of the county.”

Current plans call for a 5,830-square-foot building, but county officials asked the postal service to consider a larger facility. MacGill said the request is being evaluated.

The Postal Service already granted a request to build the facility in the Indian Hills area instead of the Johnson Lane area. The Indian Hills and Jacks Valley areas are served by a Carson City post office and have Carson City mailing addresses, and Douglas officials hoped that a north Carson Valley post office would result in a mailing address and ZIP code reflecting the communities’ Douglas County location.

n Valley View? MacGill said the Indian Hills office is tentatively named Valley View, but that could change. He referred questions on the ZIP code to Rebecca Bernard, a post office operations manager based in Reno. She was unavailable Tuesday afternoon.

Construction on the proposed facility likely will not start for several months. MacGill said the Postal Service now needs an environmental assessment and an appraisal for the 68,824-square-foot parcel, which would be followed by negotiations with the property owner.

He said the Postal Service won’t be buying the land, instead using a process in which the company that builds the facility owns it and leases it back to the Postal Service. The agency will negotiate the sale price for the land, however.

The same arrangement is planned for a post office to be built in the Gardnerville Ranchos.

A 1.81-acre site has been chosen west of the Gorman’s shopping center for a 8,425-square-foot building. MacGill said planners are in the process of adapting standard post office plans to the site, to be followed with an appraisal and environmental assessment. He estimated construction won’t begin for at least two months, with a possible spring 2000 opening date.

The Gardnerville Ranchos post office will have 2,086 mail boxes, plus room for sorting and other business. Currently, Ranchos residents are served through the Gardnerville post office.

n Smooth process. MacGill said the selection process for the Ranchos and Valley View post offices has been smooth. The Postal Service’s last Carson Valley site search was for a new location for the Genoa post office, and it brought years of vehement protests from residents divided over where the facility should go.

“We haven’t received any comments from the public at all,” said MacGill, referring to the current site searches. “It’s been a process that’s just taken time. We look forward to building these facilities because it’s going to serve the residents of that area for a long time.”