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Officials want post office in downtown Hampstead Old elementary school is preferred location


U.S. Postal Service officials held a public hearing in Hampstead last night to discuss relocation of the town's cramped post office and received a clear message that town officials prefer placing a new facility downtown in the old elementary school.

David Bradshaw, manager of administrative services for the Baltimore District of the Postal Service, told the council and two dozen residents that postal officials are seeking council and public input before finding and purchasing a site for a 14,000-square-foot facility within the next nine months.

The 3,600-square-foot post office at 4005 Houck Ave. is no longer adequate, considering anticipated growth in population and mail services.

Mayor Christopher M. Nevin told Joseph O'Connor of the Postal Service real estate division that "in keeping with the town's revitalization plan for the downtown business district, we would like you to focus your plans on the old school building."

George M. Jurkin, a Hampstead resident and president of American Land Concepts, a Reisterstown company that provides environmental services to landowners, developers and industry, distributed to Postal Service officials and the council potential site-plan drawings of the property, which is about twice the 2.5 acres postal officials are seeking.

Under Jurkin's proposal, the newer portion of the two-story, 60,000-square-foot school would be demolished, preserving the older portion -- 12,000 feet of space on each of two floors.

The property could provide parking with 14 spaces on Main Street and more behind the building.

Bradshaw had said 63 parking spaces would suffice, nearly three times the parking at the current post office.

Bradshaw, O'Connor and John Lehman, project engineer for the design and construction of the new postal facility, said the elementary school site would be given consideration, but said a two-floor layout would not likely meet needs for effective mail service.

Town Manager Neil M. Ridgely told postal officials that he hoped the school site would work out.

"If not, I hope consideration will be given to keeping it downtown and, if you must move out [of the downtown area], I hope you will plan to keep some postal services available in the downtown area," Ridgely said.

The Postal Service hopes to secure a site by September and complete the project by late 2000.

Manchester Town Council

Manchester officials planned to weigh a revised version of the town's curfew law at its monthly meeting last night.

Under current code, no one under age 18 may be in a public place after midnight on weekends, or after 11 p.m. on weekdays, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. But a police officer can only "instruct" a juvenile violator to go home.

"The current curfew has no penalty, nothing for an officer to enforce," said Philip Arbaugh, town manager.

The proposed revision spells out exceptions -- attending school and religious functions, for example -- and allows a police officer to escort a juvenile home after curfew hours.

If no parent or guardian is home, the juvenile would be taken to police headquarters until a parent or guardian is available, Arbaugh said.

A parent or guardian of an offender could be fined $15 to $300 and jailed for up to 15 days, Arbaugh said.

A revised curfew law would also address truancy, allowing police to return a juvenile to school, if an offender is found in a public place during school hours, Arbaugh said.

Pub Date: 12/09/98

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