USPS - THIRD PUBLIC HEARING


EMAIL sent by SENK to some interested parties:

Subject: Aurora Public Meeting 2/21/06
Date: Wed, 7 Feb 2007
From: Senk, Paul J - Windsor, CT

Many of you are aware of the possible relocation of the Aurora Post Office. We have worked on this project for some time and have developments of interest to the Aurora Community.

There will be a public meeting on Wednesday, February 21st at 6:30 PM at the Aurora Fire Station. At this time, we will provide updates on our efforts to date on this project and will be available for your comments.

As always, your attendance and participation are welcomed!

Paul Senk
Manager, Real Estate
860/285-7006



RESPONSE from SENK to those who asked about the nature of these new "developments"

Subject: RE: Aurora Public Meeting 2/21/06
Date: Wed, 7 Feb 2007 1
From: Senk, Paul J - Windsor, CT

The primary information item I have to share may not be news to many. The only offer we received in response to our solicitations was for the Heary Building. So it has been tentatively selected for the site of the Aurora post office, subject to many things. The space and site will need to be designed to meet our accessibility standards, the historic preservation review must be successfully completed, an acceptable lease contract needs to be negotiated, local building approvals must be obtained, environmental reviews must be performed, etc. So while this is a milestone of sorts, there is still much work to be done, including listening to comments from the customers of the Aurora post office.



NOTES ON THE MEETING, 2/21/07

Senk said he had just that day left off the USPS design specifications with Wells College, the project sponsor's partner. Many in attendance had no questions but simply recited the brief pro-pleasant party-line: "We Support the Plan."

But, what plan? Apparently the plans submitted back in the fall of 2004, and approved by our village boards in March of 2006 are not under consideration by the USPS. Senk said the relocation could not move forward before design and site plans were submitted based on new USPS specifications.

A significant number in attendance questioned the accessibility of the proposed location. He indicated there would be a significant "design challenge" in making the Heary Building handicapped accessible and compliant with the Architectural Barriers Act, the law which applies to all USPS facilities.

Specifically, Senk indicated that a front door handicapped entrance would be the preferance of the USPS. He said that placement of handicapped parking spaces, as shown in the original plan, so that handicapped patrons would have to cross the delivery and parking lot driveway in order to reach the building, was problematic.

Senk suggested that the overall parking lot design (terraced or flat) was not under USPS purview, although he indicated that safety on exiting the lot could be a USPS concern. He did say that USPS guidelines would recommend 25 parking spaces, although that could be revised downward slightly. (Even so, with the redesigned parking lot containg no more that 38 spapces, one wonders where patrons of the Inn, Market, Fargo, Pizzaurora, and Bet the Farm will park!)

Senk said that the Section 106 Review required under the National Historic Preservation Act would resume once new plans were submitted, and the State Historic Preservation Office would have to sign-off on the project. He again said the National Trust for Historic Preservation would be included in the 106 Review, as per repeated requests.

As for the project's time frame, Senk was noncommittal, saying that this upcoming phase of design preparation is often the longest as it usually requires a number of back and forth design proposal exchanges with various modifications. He thought it would be concluded before the current lease expired in 2009.

No official representatives of the sponsor's development corporation, the Aurora Foundation LLC, attended the meeting. Neither Katie Waller, Lisa Ryerson, Diane Hutchinson, Bruce King nor Wendy Marsh appeared.



PRESS COVERAGE for the 3rd public hearing

Aurora to get update on post office, Syracuse Post-Standard, 2/8/09

Public hears plans for Aurora post office move, Auburn Citizen, 2/17/07

New Post Office, Auburn Citizen, 2/22/07



Page updated February 26, 2007

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