ALTON — By the end of May 2016, the U.S. Postal Service’s Belle Street location will have a new home.
“We are going to relocate the main post office and stay within the city limits,” Marla Larsen-Williams of the USPS Facilities Implementation Team told the Alton City Council on June 24. “We don’t know where we are going to end up yet; we are in the early stages.
“As soon as we have an idea where we are going, I will communicate that to the mayor, send some information out and get the space ready to meet our needs.”
She said they are looking for a space between 12,000 and 15,000 square feet (the current post office is approximately 20,000 square feet) and parking to accommodate 110 to 120 vehicles. Williams said she will be spending time in the Alton area in coming months looking for a new building.
A neighboring business owner expressed his concern to the council over the post office’s planned move and how it would affect mail activity in the area.
Coal and tar contamination from a plant on the property previous to the post office will require the building to be demolished and soil underneath to undergo environmental remediation to be considered safe. Ameren (which is not renewing the USPS lease) purchased the property in 2003 and the USPS was informed in 2009 of the intent to decontaminate the property.
The site at 727 Belle St. has served as a USPS location since 1967. There are two other locations in Alton, one at Alton Square Mall and one at 1624 Main St.