Why is the City of Vero Beach mainland being denied what other cities offer as an amenity?

COMMENTARY

Editor’s note: Ken Daige is a former member of the Vero Beach City Council.

KEN DAIGE

Ken Daige

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.

A Postal Center and Community Center are other services which our residents and neighbors enjoy.

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. 

4 comments

  1. It’s all so simple. The city council is facing massive tax increases so they are looking every way to avoid these tax increases. However, selling any city land is not the solution,at best it is a short term fix that will haunt the taxpayers for years to come.
    Once the sale of Vero Electric is completed, and taxes begin to “go thru the roof” it will mean the end to the City of Vero and the dissolution of local government. Do we want the envious county government to run our beautiful city; I don’t think so. Look at the city council’s record and you see a path to the end of the city.
    Here’s their plan: sell Vero Electric, sell the Water and Sewer systems, sell the post office, sell public lands ,etc.
    The electric sale is history,but this council must be stopped from any more reckless sales .
    Beware !

  2. I can’t see how destroying the City of Vero Beach – including the 14th Avenue businesses – restaurants, galleries, other businesses – will help anyone. What will be left for the county to make money from or manage? It would mean the end of the City Manager’s job – and all other city positions (including City Council). Without the lagoon being cleaned up, what would be the big deal with coming to Vero Beach? Are we looking at the Museum being privatized? Riverside Theater? They are building accommodations for those involved in Theater productions near Dodgertown. At least, I think that Proctor Construction project there is specifically for the Theater. I thought the Post Office facility in K-Mart area was within the city limits …. but it certainly isn’t convenient for the downtown businesses and residents. Maybe I’m wrong – wouldn’t be the first time.

  3. Cathy, The Post Office substation located in the Kmart Plaza is within the city limits of Vero Beach. It’s a stretch, though, to equate a carrie annex with a full service post office.

  4. I have to correct you again – Cathy Katrovitz said “I thought the Post Office facility in K-Mart area was within the city limits …. ”

    It was Daige (above) who said “There are no other post offices in the City of Vero Beach.”

    I also believe you are wrong about K-Mart not being full service…

Comment - Please use your first and last name. Comments of up to 350 words are welcome.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s