Naples, Postal Service reach new lease agreement

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — How the decades fly by.

It was 20 years ago that the Town of Naples last negotiated the lease contract with the United States Post Office (USPO).

At the most recent Naples Town Meeting the residents voted to allow the local selectmen to negotiate a new lease on the town’s behalf.

This most recent lease agreement will last five years, according to Naples Town Manager Ephrem Paraschak.

“I think the postal service is very happy,” he said.

“I think people like having the post office next to the municipal center,” he said, touching on the convenience of the two services in one building.

“The rent would go up,” Paraschak said. The total is approximately $28,000 per year. He later added that the increase is about $4,000 more per year.

“The consultant is looking for a fee but that is not in this agreement. And, we should run with that,” Paraschak said.

Selectman Rich Cebra expressed his pleasure in regards to saving the town money.

Then, Cebra made the motion “to sign the lease, provided we don’t pay the finder’s fee.”

The motion passed with all the selectmen in favor of the rental agreement.

Prior to the vote, Selectman Jim Turpin asked, “Is there anything required of the U.S. post office or us as far as improving the space?”

The town manager answered, “We are responsible for the major utilities — not paying them, but maintaining them.”

“The tiles are worn out,” he said, estimating the floor tiling was about 20 years old.”

“Snow removal would be our big thing, but we do it anyways,” Paraschak said.

Resident Larry Anton expressed his concerns about residents’ safety on the walkways and sidewalks leading to the post office, especially during the winter months.

“I picked up an old lady who tripped on the old sidewalk,” Anton said, referring to it “as a disgrace of a sidewalk.”

He said it was “only a matter of time” before someone was injured from a fall and the town had a lawsuit on its hands.

Paraschak countered Anton’s comments.

“I would disagree that it is a disgrace of a sidewalk. It is the town’s sidewalk. It could be improved. But, it is not a safety hazard,” Paraschak said.

“Without a doubt, it will be on town’s radar to improve the post office space over the next year,” he said.

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