After years of delay, South Carroll soon could have a new post office -- and Mayor Jonathan S. Herman has proposed a possible site. Five postal officials met with Mr. Herman on Tuesday, and he suggested build ing the narfield complex -- 57 acres and 12 buildings -- at the hospital along Route 32. Sykesville is trying to annex the property and develop it as an industrial site. The mayor called it perfect for a post office.
"We are definitely willing to look at the hospital site," said Vince J. Liberto, postal facilities specialist.
Once a site is chosen, the project will be put out to bid.
"They told me they will soon advertise for land in South Carroll," Mr. Herman said. "They should be breaking ground within a year."
The project could begin even sooner, Mr. Liberto said.
"Sykesville is not completely approved, but hopefully will be soon," he said. 'We had a good meeting with the mayor to express our intention to look for a new site."
Advertising will run for about 60 days. Design work will begin once the property is purchased.
"We will see what is for sale in the area and come up with a list for our real estate people, who will make the final judgment," Mr. Liberto said. "We could possibly break ground at the end of this year."
The Sykesville project has been on the books for a few years, he said. But all new construction was on hold while the Postal Service undertook a restructuring.
In addition to the Sykesville project, the Postal Service has begun constructing a building on Route 27 in Mount Airy.
In Westminster, where the Postal Service owns property in the Englar Road business center, groundbreaking awaits final approval.
Sykesville is next because it is the next most-crowded office, said Mr. Liberto, and it serves the county's most rapidly growing area.
With little space left in town, postal officials will do most of their looking outside Sykesville.
Annexation of the Warfield property would keep the post office in town and allay residents' fears of a loss of identity for the town of 3,000.
Employees at the Sykesville Post Office are cheering, said Postmaster Norma Handy-West.
"We have been feeling crowded for at least two years," she said.
The 5,763-square-foot building on Sandosky Road is the starting point for about 10,000 daily deliveries on more than 20 routes.
About 50 employees serve a population of 22,092 in an area that extends south from the town to Route 70 in Howard County, north to Bollinger Road and Route 32, west to Woodbine and east to the Baltimore County line and Route 26.
"We are just growing by leaps and bounds," Mr. Liberto said. "The present building is cramped for both employees and customers."