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April 11, 2014
by Bill Kuebler
Take It Or Leave It fans rejoice. The Take It Or Leave It Shop will reopen bigger and better than ever. I had a very nice talk with Supervisor Greenstein yesterday afternoon. The passionate letters to this site and the wonderful speakers at the town board meeting Tuesday showed how vital and popular our little community is. Thank you all.
This is how I understand the situation—and keep in mind things will certainly evolve.
The current shed at the recycling center is now open Saturdays for 8 to 12 and will be a leave-it-only site for town residents. There will be no taking. But in May the new and improved TIOLI will open at the train station parking lot. The new shop will be housed in what I have been told is the pretty building that was once used as office and storage for the Skateboard Park. This will be moved to the first parking lot on the left as you drive into the station along Woodburn Avenue from South Greeley, behind the Shell station. The Farmers Market will have one third of the building (instead of its current small trailer) and TIOLI will have the other two thirds. I have been told this is more space then we had. [See photos of the shed below.] The hours and dates for running the two endeavors would be the same or very similar (the Farmers Market runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.).
I am optimistic about this idea. While the current location has served us well, there were as many positives as negatives about the space. The best thing was “one-stop shopping” you could recycle everything in one spot. Now people will have to go to two locations—and I, for one, am going to miss the book bins. The major downside: the lack of parking. Not enough spaces in or outside the center. Now we have the train station lot. The parking issue was one reason we felt we could never fully promote the shop because it would only exacerbate the parking problems and the good-but-sad fact is that our popularity sometimes made it hard to recycle after 10:00 a.m.
There are still issues to be worked out this month. These include how to dispose of items that are not taken. I think a dumpster exclusively dedicated to the TIOLI would allow us to once and for all see how much it actually costs to run the shop. The town could then determine whether it is worth continuing to operate it. Spoiler Alert: I think it is. And I am worried about the problem of people just dropping off stuff at all hours when we are closed.
Two of the most exciting things Rob mentioned to me in our phone call were the fact that we would develop a whole new clientele by being located downtown. Hunt’s Lane was a bit isolated. And, forgive me—poor Luddite that I am—he suggested we upload photos of our quality goods to Facebook and entice even more new people in.
In my 13 years of volunteering at the shed I think this is the most exciting event since we reopened in in 2000. We’ll need volunteers and I am working on a way to have volunteers sign-up easily through a web page. If anyone one wants to reach me I am email@example.com.
Skate Park shed above, Chappaqua Farmers Market trailer below