Posted 7/21/15 (Tue)
By Amy Robinson
Farmer Staff Writer
Due to the increase in population in Watford City, the Watford City United States Post Office will need to find a new alternative location that will allow at least 7,043 net interior square feet. The U.S. Postal Service is considering relocating the retail services currently provided at the Watford City Post Office to a yet-to-be-determined site as close as reasonably possible to the existing location.
“Because of the continued rapid population growth in the Watford City area, it has left the Postal Service needing additional space to process and deliver mail and properly serve our retail customers,” said Peter Nowacki with the United States Post Office. “The Post Office will need 7,043 interior square feet with 66 parking spaces for customer and employee parking.”
The current Watford City Post Office building is 4,290 square feet. And according to Nowacki, expanding the Post Office into an already-existing facility would be the most cost-effective option.
“At this time, we are concentrating our effort on finding an existing building,” says Nowacki. “We’d like to lease an existing building. If none exists, we may have to reevaluate our plans at a future date.”
According to Greg Shelton, U.S. Postal Service Real Estate Specialist, the Post Office is a self-supporting government establishment that receives no tax dollars for its operating costs. And because of this, the Postal Service must rely on the sale of postage, products, and services to generate revenue. In the face of unsustainable deficits, the Postal Service must seek ways to increase revenue and use its physical facilities as efficiently as possible.
The “relocation project” will consist of procuring a suitable location, preparing the new location for use as a Post Office, and then transitioning the retail services to the new location. The Postal Service would continue retail services in its current location until the new Post Office is up and running. There will be no changes to mail delivery, customers’ addresses, or Post Office Boxes as a result of the relocation. The Postal Service has tentatively identified areas for the potential new location, which according to Shelton, encompasses the city boundaries.
Written comments on the proposal of the relocation and expansion of the Watford City Post Office will be accepted until Aug. 5, and can be submitted to: Greg Shelton, Real Estate Specialist, Attn: Watford City, N.D., United States Postal Service, 7500 E. 53rd Place, Room 1108, Denver, CO 80266-9918.
After the comment and appeal period, the Postal Service will consider the comments and appeals received that identify reasons why the Postal Service’s tentative decision and proposal is, or is not, the optimal solution for the identified need. Following that consideration, the Postal Service will make a final decision to proceed with, modify, or cancel the proposal.
“The public input period affords all interested parties the opportunity to provide comments about their desired location, or provide information about a particular site they would like us to consider,” said Nowacki. “At a recent city council meeting, there was a sentiment that the community would like us to keep as close to downtown as possible.”
If the proposal for relocation and expansion is approved, Nowacki says the United States Postal Service would like to be in the new location and facility by 2016.