Archive for Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Post office zeroes in on four sites

June 22, 2005

And then there were four.

The U.S. Postal Service, which plans to construct a new post office in Tonganoxie, has whittled the list of possible locations to four.

¢ The U.S. Postal Service has determined these four sites are worth exploring further as possible locations for a new post office in Tonganoxie:

¢ 1.5 acres near the southwest corner of Laming Road and Leavenworth County Road 5 (near Stack 'N' Stuff storage).

¢ 2.042 acres at the southeast corner of Laming Road and Woodfield Drive (north of the county annex).

¢ 1.8 acres at the southwest corner of East Fourth Street and East Street (extended), which is two to three blocks from the Tonganoxie Fire Station, on the south side of Fourth.

¢ 1.15 acres southwest of U.S. Highway 24-40 and Fourth Street (Kansas Highway 16), just south of the abandoned gasoline station.

¢ The postal service is taking written comments through July 15. They may be dropped off at the local post office or mailed to the Tonganoxie postmaster.

Three of the sites are on U.S. Highway 24-40 -- or a short distance from the highway. And the fourth site is nestled on East Fourth Street, a few blocks east of the Tonganoxie Fire Station.

Here are the proposed sites:

  • 1.5 acres near the southwest corner of Laming Road and Leavenworth County Road 5.
  • 2.042 acres at the southeast corner of Laming Road and Woodfield Drive (north of the Leavenworth County annex).
  • 1.8 acres at the southwest corner of East Fourth Street and East Street (extended), which is two to three blocks east of the Tonganoxie Fire Station, on the south side of Fourth Street.
  • 1.15 acres southwest of U.S. Highway 24-40 and Fourth Street (Kansas Highway 16), just south of the abandoned gasoline station.

"I think it's a pretty decent selection that they've come up with," said Mayor Dave Taylor, who was notified by mail about the postal service's list. "I really can't say one over the other. That wouldn't be fair."

Through July 15, the postal service will take comments -- from public officials such as Taylor, as well as from members of the public -- on the four sites. And a post office site review group will tour the sites in late July or early August.

Postmaster Ron Hubbard explained that he, a postal service real estate official and other postal service employees will visit each of the sites, evaluating them.

"We'll all give our input about which site we think will be the best," Hubbard said.

In the letter to Taylor, Russ Rainey, project manager with the postal service's facilities service office in Denver, outlined some of the factors that will play a role in determining where a new post office will be constructed.

"There are a myriad of factors from the Postal Service's perspective that will influence our selection, including, but not limited to, land costs, lease rates, operational issues, topography, environmental and others, to name a few," Rainey said.

When the postal service announced in February that it wanted a larger post office in Tonganoxie, it became clear that the existing post office could not expand -- unless nearby property owners offered up their property. So the postal service then requested offers from area property owners who could provide between 50,000 and 55,000 square feet of land or an existing building of about 5,750 square feet of space.

The postal service was looking within an area bounded by Parallel Road on the north, Kansas Avenue on the south, 206th Street on the east and 222nd Street on the west. The new building would be more than twice the size of the existing post office, which measures 2,100 square feet.

According to Rainey, the postal service received "a number" of offers, but he determined that only four would be true contenders.

And Hubbard noted that because all four sites were for vacant ground, the post office will be moving into a new building.

"Next, we'll be looking for a developer," Hubbard said.

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