Editor’s note: Ken Daige is a former member of the Vero Beach City Council.
Indian River Shores offers a post office. Central beach residents within the City of Vero Beach have a post office. There are post offices south and west of town. Yet, the Vero Beach City Council is prepared to sell off the site of the downtown post office.
The small beachside post office on private property on Cardinal Drive, in the area known as the beachside “downtown.”
On the mainland just west of the train tracks on 13th Avenue is the City’s downtown main post office, moved in 1965 from its previous location on 20th street near 14th Avenue.
There are no other post offices in the City of Vero Beach.
Currently the Postal Service maintains a distribution hub at the Kmart Plaza off US Highway 1 South, and a location out west off Route 60 near I-95; both are Indian River County locations, outside the City of Vero Beach
The city council recently voted to designate the mainland Post Office land as surplus, and is prepared to sell off that land. Council has wrongfully determined that the post office building is a liability and not worth supporting. This action shows lack of Vision and Planning for the future of the City of Vero Beach. Managing assets does not mean selling them off.
There is no real concern that the city will be liable for a 50 year old building if the post office does not renew its lease; the Post Office has stated it does not intend to leave.
The Post Office just spent over $40 thousand on air handler repairs and has repainted the building. The building is in good repair and not a liability.
The City Council has left the decision in the city managers hands. A contract will be presented at a Council meeting in the very near future.
No consideration was given to the needs of mainland residents as to where their Post Office might be at least two years after the sale. City Council cannot force the new land owner to maintain a post office.
Currently the mainland Postal Service has a five year lease with the City. That lease has two more years with a renewable for another five years. It has become common practice for the U.S. Postal Service to maintain short leases. There is no guarantee the new land owner will renew the post office lease. Once the sale is approved, all control is lost except as applies to current zoning codes. The City cannot sell the property with restrictions on it – no developer will accept conditions other than required by current zoning.
Main Street has not taken a position.
We cannot trust the City Councilto do what’s in the community’s best interest while selling off our assets.
Those of us who benefit from having a downtown Post Office will have to be our own advocates.
There is no need to sell off income generating assets. There is no need for a fire sale. Why are we being denied what other cities offer as an amenity?
The official web site for Indian River Shores makes the following statement about the benefits of providing a post office for its residents. The current Vero Beach City seems unconcerned about providing comparable benefits for its mainland residents.
The Town of Indian River Shores has maintained a postal facility on-site for over 30 years. Our Postal Center staff is committed to giving special attention to the individual mailing needs of each customer. Newly expanded and renovated in 2007, the facility allows our staff to provide essential window services as well as assistance with packaging needs with very reasonable pricing.
The Town also offers three sizes of competitively priced private mail boxes for rent. With your rental box, you receive a street address and a suite, or PMB (private mail box) number. This gives you a presence in Indian River Shores, even when you can’t be here.
Advantages realized by those who have rental boxes with the Town include convenience with secure, 24-hour access. We offer flexible forwarding of your mail when requested. Your UPS, Federal Express, DHL, and United States Postal Service (USPS) Express Mail and packages can be delivered and signed for at our location Monday through Friday. You will be called when your package arrives, and it will be safely stored until you can pick it up.