021119_nws_whitesboro1

A new post office has been a priority for some in Whitesboro, a historically black neighborhood, as a key part of retaining the independent character of the community.

MIDDLE TOWNSHIP — Township Committee last week introduced an ordinance approving the lease of township property for a new post office for the Whitesboro section of the township.

It will be on the northeast corner of Main Street and Route 9 on two township lots that are now overgrown with trees and underbrush.

There will be parking on site.

The new post office has been a priority for some in Whitesboro, a historically black neighborhood, as a key part of retaining the independent character of the community.

Township Committee also took formal action at its June 17 meeting to request that Congress name the new post office for George White, the attorney and Reconstruction-era congressman for whom the area is named. A memorial to White stands on the corner of the township lot where the post office is planned.

The vote was unanimous.

The approved resolution cites White’s upbringing in “the backwoods of the South” and his rise to prominence as an educator, legislator, lawyer, banker, judge and more.

Mayor Timothy Donohue said the lease will require the Postal Service to pay a nominal fee, stating the township’s priority is to get a new post office for the site.

There was a post office at 207 Main St. for many years, but that was shut down in summer 2018. Postal Service officials cited its poor condition.

Postal Service officials say the new building is to be built off site and delivered, with additional details and landscaping added once it is in position. It is expected to be 40 feet long and a little more than 11 feet wide.

According to Donohue, the new post office will protect the Whitesboro ZIP code. Once an agreement is reached on the lot, plans would likely be presented to the Planning Board for a courtesy review before work commences.

A public hearing and final vote on the ordinance authorizing the negotiation of a lease of the property is set for the July 15 meeting of Township Committee, 6 p.m. at Township Hall, 33 Mechanic St.

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