The status of a local post office is out in the open after the United States Postal Service provided the property owner with a lease agreement that seems less than acceptable.
According to property owner, Steven Katten, his family built and have owned the Cameron Post Office property for 40 years. The building, which was built to USPS specifications by his mother, has housed the Post Office since its completion. That may change soon due to what Katten cites as an "onerous proposal" by the USPS.
Katten claims that lease for the commercial property has always been a negotiation that occurs every five to ten years depending on the length of the previous lease agreement. The procedure generally takes a couple of compromises between both him and the USPS, but after a few times of going back and forth, a satisfactory agreement between the two parties is reached and the facility maintains its day-to-day operation.
According to Katten, things have seemed to change and he feels it's due to the economic crisis that has forced the USPS to consolidate and close many of its facilities across the nation in order to reduce costs and recoup a multi-billion deficit.
The USPS apparently hired an independent global real estate company to broker its upcoming lease with Katten. The lease, which has not only an annual rental reduction but several side bar clauses that have left Katten feeling as if he will be the USPS's scape-goat for the closure of the Cameron Post Office leaving many town-folk upset at him rather than at the USPS. The lease which had included a Tenant Improvement Clause seems to insinuate the USPS is willing to pay $12,410 annually to lease the facility, but they will require a @12,400 tenant improvement allowance for general maintenance under the new clause. The lease also includes a new 90 day notice of termination clause. according to Katten, the clause will the the USPS the right to terminate their lease between him without any financial penalty only the requirement of a 90 day notice. The use of an outside broker isn't what has incited Katten's ire at the USPS but the clause in the lease contract that required he pay the broker a three percent commission fee for their services. Services not hired by Katten but in fact hired by the USPS. The USPS Cameron location remains open at this point as Katten remains in negotiations with CBRE in hopes that an agreeable lease can be reached. He hopes that the USPS location can stay open and doesn't resign itself to a small trailer in a parking area without the ability to provide full services to it's patrons.