Renovating Windsor post office for police station more costly option

Published 9:13 am Friday, May 14, 2010

WINDSOR—Windsor Council this week learned it would cost nearly $40,000 more to renovate the post office for a police station opposed to expanding the municipal building.

In other business, council learned next year’s proposed $1.4 million budget will not call for a property tax or water rate increase. A public hearing on the budget will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 25, at Town Hall.

Council in April asked Town Manager Michael Stallings to get the estimates for moving the police station to the post office, which is located in a town-owned building. Police need more room than what’s available at Town Hall.

Stallings said the cost for renovating the post office is $270,000. The cost of adding onto the municipal building for the police station would be $231,000.

The post office sits adjacent to Windsor Municipal Building at Church Street and Route 460.

If approved, the earliest move-in dates would be September 2011 for the post office building, while the police department could be operating from the Town Hall addition by January 2011.

Although the issue has been before council for several months, no decision was made.

Stallings however recommended building onto the Town Hall.

“That seems to be the better solution,” he added. “In the long run, it would be less expensive and give the police department some much-needed space at least nine months earlier.

As to the fate of the post office building, Stallings said his assumption would be that the town would renegotiate with the post office on a lease agreement.

“If we don’t use it as a police department, there would be no reason for the post office to leave.”

Windsor Postmaster Steven Trent told council last month if the lease was not renewed, there may not be a post office in Windsor.

Postal Services District Communications Coordinator Fran Sansone said Thursday if the current lease is not renewed, the post office will look for another building in the area. However, if the lease, which expires in May 2011, runs out before this happens, “we will of course still service the Town Windsor, but from another office, probably Suffolk.” Sansone said.

“Our carriers will still deliver the mail, it’ll just take longer,” she said. “Another inconvenience to our customers is there will be no more post office boxes.

Sanson said the postal services real estate firm, Eastern Facilities Service Office, will have an agent work with the town when the lease gets closer to expiring.