Our City Commission voted tonight (Anderson, Dillaha, and Bridges voted YES, Bradley and Diebel voted NO) to proceed with a “conceptual plan” for the post office property with these characteristics:
- Build a new 6,500 square foot retail post office to USPS specifications on the northern section of the current post office property (approximately 0.85 acres), converting the balance of the current post office property and City right of way to park space (approximately 1.4 acres).
- Build a new 6,500 square foot distribution center (“carrier annex”) to USPS specifications on City owned land on Denning Drive (approximately 1.5 acres).
- The City’s consultant currently estimates the cost to construct these two buildings at $3,500,000.
- Noting that no one really wants to break up the 5 acre City owned Denning Drive property but to commit 1.5 acres of that land anyway (?). (Yes, they voted on that.)
- Appoint and authorize a fund raising group to raise $4,000,000 toward the cost to implementing the conceptual plan.
- Noting that the City’s consultant currently values land to be used by the USPS for these new building at $1,500,000.
- Noting that the City has a contract with the USPS for a single 23,000 square foot building. (The City’s agent has already notified the USPS that the City values the 10,000 square foot differential between the contract and the current conceptual plan at $2,000,000.)
- Suggesting that the USPS may accept a condominium interest in the land used for the new buildings rather than taking title to that land.
- Suggesting that the City may build a larger facility on the northern section of the current post office property to accommodate more than a retail post office. (Who is going to pay for that?)
- Noting that the current contract with the USPS requires the City to deliver turnkey facility/facilities before receiving title to the current post office land.
- Noting that the USPS may not agree to extend the current contract with the City, which expires in February 2010.
Who on our City Commission is seeking answers to the following questions?
- What happens if the fund raising falls short of $4,000,000?
- Who is paying for the 1.5 acres to be given to the USPS under uncertain terms? (Estimated value of $1,500,000.)
- Who is paying for a settlement with the USPS on the 10,000 square foot contract differential that the City has already acknowledged through its agent is worth $2,000,000?
- If all these costs are realized as currently documented the total cost of acquiring up to 1.4 acres of new park on the South portion of the current post office property will approximate $7,000,000 (Buildings at $3,500,000 – land at $1,500,000 – contract differential at $2,000,000). (This excludes the $4,000,000 in taxpayer money already spent to pay off the previous post office developers.) So, what happened to the representations of our City Commissioners that this project would be undertaken without using taxpayer funds?
- Why is the City Commission spending all this time and effort on a “conceptual plan” with so many holes in it before it knows whether or not the USPS will even bother to extend to the current contract?
- Why would the USPS agree to extend the current contract unless they were certain they would be getting more than they would be giving up?
- If the USPS is to be certain of getting more than it is giving up doesn’t that mean costs are certain to be greater than the suggested $4,000,000 fund raising effort, which assures that the “real plan” is for Winter Park taxpayers to be on the hook for ANY differential between ANY donations and actual costs?
Let your Mayor and City Commissioners know how much you are prepared to contribute to this “plan” as a charitable contribution.
Let your Mayor and City Commissioners know how much you are prepared to contribute to the “plan” as a taxpayer.
The post office is a functioning, commercial magnet that draws people to Winter Park and Park Ave. Also, how many employees work at the current site compared to splitting the employees between Denning and the new post office? These people shop, eat and spend dollars on the Ave. Moving most of these employees to Denning is not a good move. VERY egotistical of the current commission to think they have all the answers. Change zoning to PQP and let Winter Parkers of the future decide this issue.