Windsor Council may turn post office into police station

Published 8:00 am Friday, April 16, 2010

WINDSOR — Windsor Council on Tuesday night delayed taking action on the future of a city-owned building occupied by the post office.

Council debated about remodeling the building for its police station or renewing the lease with the U.S. Postal Service for another 10 years.

Council seemed to lean more toward relocating the police station, which is located at the municipal building, despite a plea from Postmaster Steven Trent to renew the lease.

“If this doesn’t happen there may not be a post office in the Town of Windsor, Trent said.

Town Manager Michael Stallings said the post office lease would expire next year.

“They’ve proposed to renew the lease for five years with the option of renewing for another five at the same rent,” Stallings said. “This seems to be too long to tie up the building, and I recommend that, if council agrees to renew, they consider a three-year term with a two-year option.”

Councilman Durwood Scott said the current rent, which was not disclosed, would not be enough to take care of future repairs on the building.

“We purchased this building with the thought of turning it into a police station, although we could not take possession at the time,” Scott said. “Now that we can, I think we should think strongly about why we bought the property in the first place.”

Scott suggested that if council did renew the lease, that it be done for no more than 90 days.

“There are several buildings in town that the postal service could use and this would give them the option of moving and not be tied up with a long lease,” he said. “It also would give us a chance to take advantage of lower construction costs at this time.”

All agree a police station is needed, and the post office building at Route 460 and Church Street is a good location.

Councilman Wesley Garris also thought the lease should be extended for no longer than 90 days. Garris believes the building should be used for the purpose for which it was purchased.

As for the post office, Councilwoman Rita Richardson said one of her concerns is safety issues, as there is inadequate parking for that facility.

“If the post office desires to move, we could diligently work with the postal service to find another location,” Richardson said. “None of us wants the post office to leave town.”

Councilman Greg Willis said he felt the town should not extend the lease, but should get an estimate on renovating the post office building to be used as a police station. Willis also believes they should get an estimate for building on to the back of the municipal building.

Council voted to proceed with estimates.