Surveying work for one of the sites being considered for the Howell Post Office’s re-location has been put on hold as officials seek more information from the United States Postal Service.
The USPS is interested in the vacant portion of the Fire Station property on West Grand River Avenue, across the street from Challenger Elementary School. The City would need to survey the property to determine what exactly they’d be selling to the USPS, as well as price appraisals and design work. City Council on Monday discussed a resolution to approve the surveying work proposed by Hubbell, Roth and Clark for a cost not to exceed $4,264.40. But the discussion was put on hold after Council heard from several residents who live close or adjacent to the property.
Neighbors voiced opposition to the site as potentially the new location of the Post Office, noting groundwater problems that could be further advanced by the facility. Interim City Manager Erv Suida says City Council wants to know how USPS plans to address those environmental issues if the site were selected.
Council was also troubled by claims from neighbors who say they’ve some kind of surveying activity already taking place on the site; indicating they had seen property lines being marked. It is currently unclear who was conducting the work, which is a question City Council also wants answered before moving forward with the proposal.
Another outstanding issue Council wants addressed is if the USPS would reimburse the City for the cost. Council voted to table the discussion until the USPS could provide more information on the outstanding issues.
Ironically, that site had been originally considered by the postal service back in the early 1980s when the Howell Post Office moved from its previous site on Walnut Street to its current location. In fact, the service had even purchased in anticipation of moving there. However, a campaign by officials to keep the post office downtown eventually persuaded the postal service to forego those plans.
Picture courtesy of Google Street View.(DK/JK)