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Avon Lake Post Office Size, Location Moves to Front and Center

Several residents want "better" facility, but post office is deemed important to west end of town.

Whether or not the is too big, too small or situated in a less convenient part of town has become an issue, with arguments made for both opinions.

On May 16 city council’s Public Utilities Committee met with one of the owners of the post office building and a representative from Congresswoman Betty Sutton’s office to look at options.

The committee, comprised of council members David Kos and Jennifer Fenderbosch, voted 2-0 to table further discussions for six months while more information and community feedback is gathered. The city can support a resolution and go-between with federal offices and politicians, but cannot force any changes.

The Post Office is located on Lake Road in Artstown Plaza near the old theater. Tom and Thomasina Patton own the plaza and post office building. The building, with 8,364 square feet of interior space, is leased by the United States Postal Service for $37,956 per year. The Post Office's current lease, signed in 1989, expires in April 2014.

Several months ago, Avon Lake resident John Rich sent a letter to Sutton’s office and to Avon Lake Council President Greg Zilka, listing the site’s inadequacies, including its size.  

Rich and resident Gerald Amato attended the May 17 meeting to speak in favor of a better post office.

“In every category I looked, Avon Lake was as good or better than any other place,” Amato said. “We got a new stadium last year,” Amato said. “We got a new pool last year.”

Rich thinks the best option would be to allow developers to bid on bringing the Post Office to a more central location in Avon Lake and see what options are offered.

“Why would you not want to find out?” Rich said. “It’s befuddling why you wouldn’t. I’d like to see council sign a resolution they want a better building."

Rich noted the city of Avon opened a large, new facility in the past several years. Avon, which owns the building, leases it to the Postal Service for $132,600 per year. That building has 6,500 square feet of interior space and a total of 57,000 square feet of total building space. Rich said a centrally located space would benefit the postal service by cutting down on gas for its fleet of 20 trucks.

 A larger space does not seem likely. The USPS, which lost $2 billion in the first quarter of 2011, enacted a new facility freeze in 2008.  Kos said the Patton’s have offered additional space to the post office.

‘The property owners have approached the post office offering more space and did not receive feedback that they were interested,” Kos said.  “It’s hard to force them out of the space they’re in where the space is adequate.”

Kos also noted the declining use of the post office since postage can now be printed at home and packages can be picked up at homes as well.

Fenderbosch, who has brought the issue to the attention of Sutton and Sen. Sherrod Brown’s office, noted that even if the post office moved to a larger space, service might not necessarily be improved.

“You’d have the same number of employees moving the same number of pieces,” she said.

 

Post office is vital to west end

Thomasina Patton, who attended the meeting, said the post office was an integral part of the plaza and the west end of Avon Lake. She said she was surprised that two individuals’ complaints garnered such attention.

“I’m surprised how much activity can be given to two people,” she said.

West end resident Deb Beard supported leaving the post office at its present location, noting that at least six apartment complexes utilize that center.

“That is a base for that end of town,” Beard said. “We lost banks, we lost our shopping center to the center of town.”

At least one councilperson supported some sort of improvement. Larry Meiners felt other locations should be considered.

“The snickers you hear when you have to stand outside those doors, it is very frustrating,” he said. “We have outgrown the size of that building and I hope that something is done in the near future. The Tops location is big enough, is central, there’s businesses there and restaurants there.

“I don’t know anyone who would argue that point.”

T.S. May 20, 2011 at 11:59 AM
Whenever I see something like " It is OUR belief, when all is said and done, the US Postal Service will see, understand and agree .....", I'd like to know WHO IS the "OUR" in "OUR belief"?? A few citizens having cocktails on the deck, retirees playing cards at the old firehouse, etc.. Not exactly sure how a new facility will make the post office more efficient. A building doesn't facilitate efficiency in this case, unless there's documentation somewhere to prove me wrong. I never heard any complaints before (except for the rare occasion of getting a few drops of rain on your head) Sure, who wouldn't want a newer post office--on the surface that sounds great, but not if it damages surrounding businesses ( and no, I am not a business owner, just a hard working schmuck like most Avon Lake residents). Robbing Peter to pay Paul is not really a solid business concept-don't need a degree to know that -even though I have one. I love it when someone claims to know whats in the best interest of others, and in this case without having clear support of either the Post Office, OR the majority. Bottom line, its up to the Federal Gov't-US Post Office--to decide. Let's just hope that with the Post Office losing millions, closing up shop and merging into regional Post Offices all across the country that all this attention doesn't bite us all in the butt where we'll end up with NO Post Office come 2014. Sometimes when you rock the boat, everyone falls overboard.
Tony Palmieri May 20, 2011 at 06:39 PM
Hi TS, Good comments. I like the comment about rocking the boat. Now I have that tune from the 70s from the Hues Corporation in my head. Hear ya go: http://www.lyrics.com/rock-the-boat-lyrics-hues-corporation.html And one more just for fun: http://www.lyrics.com/raindrops-keep-falling-on-my-head-lyrics-burt-bacharach.html Just in case everyone isn't aware, we business owners are just "hard working schmucks" like everyone else. The major difference is WE RELY ON YOU to support us for our incomes and you rely on your companies for a paycheck...from the dollars we spend on their products that come from you supporting us that we spend on your company's products that come from you supporting us...I'm getting dizzy but funny how that all comes together! Full circle, I think they call it. The biggest difference is we have our financial lives on the line pursuing a dream that relies on customer traffic. So just in case anyone forgets, consider which families and which businesses are impacted by moving entities that bring customers to that area in exchange for the convenience saving a couple of minutes in line waiting. Most times, the time spent in line waiting can be put to good use by smiling and saying "hi" to the person next to you. Ya never know, ya might make a new friend. Try it. It's amazing who you can meet in Avon Lake!
Dave D May 20, 2011 at 10:19 PM
Unless you have owned a small business, you have no idea just how little the $37000 the post office pays a year gets you. For the square footage, that is peanuts. After the Arabica coffee house went out of business for the last time, I tried to rent the spot they were in. It was going for well over $40,000 a year. Of course we can see what happened, the last Two businesses failed, hopefully the new one can somehow find a way to survive under that crushing rent. The point is, that rent is a bargain for the post office, why would they want to leave? just because they move into a newer, shinier place, doesn't mean it will be more efficient. That kind of square footage would cost the post office probably at least $90,000 a year and not benefit anyone except for the people who do not want to drive the extra 3 minutes it takes to get there from the other side of town. Is JAR some kind of developer looking to unload some property in Avon Lake? The references to "we" and "our" sound suspiciously like some group of investors. Maybe I am wrong...
Michelle Szegedy February 22, 2012 at 09:22 PM
I think the Post Office is fine where it is! Leave it where it is as an anchor to the West end of Avon Lake. It works.
Carol Murphy February 23, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Look at Avon and Westlake.......new larger post office buildings and there are still lines, less personal and terrible service. Our postal employees are friendly, helpful and are very efficient. We are lucky to be able to preserve the character of our eastern segment of our city!

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