Meyers post office to move forward |

Meyers post office to move forward

by Timothy Bowman

Residents in the Meyers area may have a shorter drive to the post office in the near future.

Construction of the long-awaited Meyers post office at Apache Avenue and U.S. Highway 50 may begin this month. The feasibility of the project was in doubt until recently.

The U.S. Postal Service put a freeze on new construction projects in April because of limited funding. The Meyers project was approved before the freeze was put into place, so it is not directly affected by the order.

“There is a national hold on all capital improvement projects nationwide,” said Bob MacGill, real estate specialist for the U.S. Postal Service. “There are approximately 800 projects nationwide that we cannot work on. The Meyers project was awarded before the hold was placed on the capital improvement project.”

The El Dorado County Planning Commission issued a permit for the project Oct. 28, 1999. The conditions of the permit required the developer, Richard Truesdale, to repave Apache Avenue adjacent to the proposed post office and add a northbound turn lane on Apache Avenue at Highway 50. The road improvements were issued in anticipation of increased traffic produced by the post office.

However, the repaving project includes an area controlled by the California Department of Transportation. Caltrans originally agreed to issue an encroachment permit on the condition Truesdale finance the construction of a southbound turn lane on Apache Avenue, in addition to repaving and constructing a northbound turn lane. There has not been a traffic assessment study in the area, so it is uncertain how much it would cost to make the total required road improvements. Estimates on the cost range from $25,000 to $250,000.

MacGill said the Postal Service would have canceled the project because the freeze order bars them from accepting any further capital improvement costs.

“If these projects are necessary, I am sure the developer will try to pass those (costs) on to us. If the costs increase then (the Meyers project) would be turned over for further review,” MacGill said. “If it reached that point it would be placed on hold like the rest of (the approximate 800 pending postal projects.)”

At the meeting of the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors Tuesday, Caltrans agreed to waive the southbound turn lane requirement on the condition that the county cooperate with them on future projects in the Meyers area. The county plans to work with Caltrans to determine the extent of road improvements needed in the area of Apache and U.S. Highway 50.

“Caltrans agreed to drop the conditions that they had placed on the post office that the developer thought were above and beyond what they could handle,” said County District II Supervisor Helen Baumann. “The post office does not have to pay for those repairs. The county and state are going to fund it. What those repairs will be we don’t know. The traffic study will tell us those and the post office can move forward.”

Truesdale said he expects construction of the post office to begin sometime between May 15 and 30.

“Now it is a matter of paying the fees and doing the paper processing,” Truesdale said. “It should be open by the fall. I don’t see any more hurdles at this point.”

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