KEENE VALLEY - The town of Keene Supervisor will be headed to Washington, D.C. in early March to lobby government officials to re-open a post office in Keene Valley.
In the meantime, Keene Valley residents have until the end of March to send public comments to the U.S. Postal Service regarding the fate of their post office, which closed in November 2010 and may be one of thousands to permanently shut down in the U.S. this year.
Supervisor Bill Ferebee said he will be traveling to the nation's capital with Schroon Lake Town Supervisor Cathy Moses and Jay Town Supervisor/Essex County Board Chairman Randy Douglas to tell elected representatives about Essex County concerns. This is an annual trip for Essex County officials and Ferebee's fourth trip as part of the contingent.
On March 9, Ferebee has an appointment with U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, and will be handing the congressman two packages regarding the closure of the Keene Valley Post Office: one with impacts to the Keene community and one with impacts to the Keene Valley community.
The Keene Valley Post Office, zip code 12943, closed because a lease agreement with the building's owner terminated and was not renewed. Residents are now forced to travel outside their hamlet for most postal service needs, and the nearest post office is 5 miles away in Keene. About 100 residents were told at a Feb. 8 public meeting at the Keene Valley firehouse that the USPS will not be building a new post office and other options need to be weighed in order to serve the year-round and seasonal population.
So far, the impact to Keene Valley residents has been one of inconvenience and the lack of a social center, according to Ferebee. And the impact on Keene has been one of space issues inside a "cramped" post office and of traffic safety.