NEW WINDSOR - The only pharmacy in town could fall victim to its neighboring landlord's expansion plans.
The 1,500-square-foot New Windsor Pharmacy, which has served residents from its Main Street location for a century, may have to pack its bags and leave town.
For several months now, said owners James A. Miller and Neil Feldman, they have known the New Windsor State Bank will not be renewing their lease when it expires Jan. 1.
If they could find an equally convenient location, also within walking distance for most residents, moving would not be a problem. Right now, though, the pharmacists said they are feeling pressure to "find a spot where there isn't one."
After months of searching for a new commercial location in Carroll's smallest town, the men said they have come up empty-handed.
The problem also has stumped town officials. Although the town does not have spot zoning, officials said they are willing to discuss rezoning any residential property the pharmacists might purchase.
"We are trying to help them find a space, but our town is so small," said Councilman D. Kenneth Grimes. "I don't know what our senior citizens would do without a pharmacy."
Mayor James C. Carlisle said many walk-in customers do one-stop shopping for other items the store carries. Several residents have told him they want the business to stay, he added.
"Our hands are tied, though," he said. "The bank owns the building, and it wants the space."
Miller said the bank, which has owned the building for many years, has not set a date for the business to vacate, but its board requests monthly reports on their search progress.
"The bank is very cramped and really needs to expand," said Charles O.
Fisher, who has been on its board of directors since 1946. "The attached pharmacy building is the most logical place."
Fisher said the bank looks on the store as it would any other tenant, and gave plenty of notice of its intentions.
Both Miller and Feldman had been associated with the pharmacy for years before buying it in 1983. They provide free delivery throughout the county, carry beepers and often come in on days off to fill prescriptions.
Miller, who also owns the pharmacy at Carroll Lutheran Village, said eventually -- within three to five years -- a good location will become available. He is looking for a short-term solution.
"It would be a tragedy if the store closed," said Dorothy Pilson, 88, whose late husband owned the pharmacy for 40 years. "They give excellent service, even offer two deliveries in one day, when I've needed it."
Miller said the independent business will exist somewhere, but added he may have to sacrifice his walk-in traffic.
"We understand and respect the bank's decision," he said. "We have been each other's customers for years and know the expansion is good business for them."