City: Post Office repairs not fast enoughBy Gordon Dirtschilo
Staff Writer | May 07,2013State and federal officials have reached a deal on the post office annex in Rutland, but the city would like to see the project move a little faster.
The West Street building has the distinction of being one of the few Art Deco terra-cotta structures in the state. As such, the Vermont Division of Historic Preservation took interest in repairs the U.S. Postal Service was making there in 2008.
The project came screeching to a halt, leaving scaffolding in place around the building and creating what local officials consider a massive eyesore at the gateway to downtown.
At issue was whether repairs to the facade would preserve the historic terra-cotta exterior.
Correspondence over the last week or so between the state and postal service show the agencies have agreed that the postal service will fabricate new terra-cotta bricks to match the existing ones on the facade.
The project also calls for the replacement of broken glass panels and refurbishment of steel frame windows, which will involve removal of lead paint and asbestos. The estimated completion date is late next year.
Noelle MacKay, commissioner of the Vermont Agency of Commerce, said last week that Historic Preservation found that acceptable and that she hoped to find ways to promote local appreciation of the building’s historic significance as the project goes forward.
However, in letters to the relevant parties signed by Rutland Redevelopment Authority executive director Brennan Duffy and forwarded by Mayor Christopher Louras to the Board of Aldermen, the city indicated it would not be satisfied until the work was done.
“It has been the City’s position that we are more interested in the repairs actually being completed in timely manner than the material utilized,” Duffy wrote. “That said, we have tried to wait patiently while this matter was resolved between the Postal Service and VT SHPO.”
Duffy went on to call 14-16 months “excessive” and to note that the timeline was qualified as “barring unforeseen complications.”
“This phrase, considering the history of this project, does not instill any comfort,” he wrote.
Duffy concluded by requesting a detailed explanation of why the work could not be finished this year and written assurances that the project would get the “full attention” of the Postal Service.
gordon.dritschilo@ rutlandherald.comMORE IN Local & State
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.