That effort started with a letter from Mayor Emery Doughtie to the local post office and from there several memos and correspondence from the city’s planning and development department to the property’s actual owner — Nationwide Postal Management in Cedarhurst, New York.
City council also sold a .2583-acre parcel it owned next to the post office which further helped to facilitate the project.
“I was very pleased,” Planning and Development Director Kelly Lasky said today. “This shows that code enforcement is not always negative because when code compliance is achieved the results have a positive impact on persons using the facility.”
In January Lasky sent a letter to NPM stating, “Our office has received numerous complaints regarding the severely deteriorating condition of the customer lot and access driveways to the United States Post Office … Your property was inspected on January 20, 2016 … it was confirmed that the parking lot and access driveways located at 725 Roanoke Avenue are not in compliance with the City of Roanoke Rapids Land Use Ordinance.”
Lasky explained in the letter, “during winter months, asphalt pavements are subject to moisture penetration and repetitive freeze-thaw cycles … Combined with traffic, this often leads to the formation of potholes. To ensure motorists’ safety and to minimize vehicle damage, potholes must be filled and the area surfaces shall be kept in good condition.”
Correspondence and memos show NPM, despite delays, was onboard with getting the paving done and noted the portion of the parking lot owned by the city did present a hitch in the scope of the work.
“All of the contractors were giving us square footage of approximately 35,600 square feet for the parking lots, whereas our lease with the postal service and tax records show only approximately 20,700 square feet,” wrote Isaac Richter of NPM in a July 7 email to Lasky. “This brings up a serious issue: If we only pave the 20,000 square feet we own, it will be a line straight through the side customer lot going all the way to the rear of the property.”
The email brought up questions on whether the city had the funds to pave the portion it owned as well as an inquiry whether the city would be interested in selling its portion.
On August 16 council approved the sale of the property, Lasky said in an August 23 email to NPM. “Yesterday morning I noticed that the contractor was onsite beginning the parking lot resurfacing. The community members are very pleased to say the least. Compliance has been long-awaited.”
The scope of the work, performed by Boswell Paving of Corbin, Kentucky, included cleaning and sweeping the entire customer and employee lot; repair asphalt prior to overlay; apply tack coat and bonding agent to the entire area; install a 1.5 inch overlay over both the customer and employee lot; layout and stripe newly paved lots with two coats of commercial traffic paint; power wash the entire building and sidewalk areas; install 10 new concrete parking stops with rebar.
The work is to have a two-year warranty on material and labor, a copy of the project scope said.
Doughtie said he was pleased with the work done. “The post office is one of the most important first impression sites in the city. More businesses have contact with you. You never get a second chance to leave that first impression. It was brought to my attention several times. It’s nice to see no potholes. I was pleased from all the efforts from everyone who had a hand in it.”