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War of Words Continues Over Westport Post Office

The group buying the main Westport Post Office building is contesting a statement the U.S. Postal Service made in March that said plans for the building did not include space for the post office to remain.

In a March 23 letter to Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, Joseph J. Mulvey, a real estate specialist for the Postal Service, wrote: "The present post office was one of those properties considered [for a new location]. However, the purchaser of the property has plans for the property which do not include space for the Postal Service within the building."

Based on this statement, Joseloff, in a March 31 statement, said the Postal Service "has done a disservice to the town and its residents" by selecting a buyer that wasn't willing to accommodate a smaller post office to operate within the building.

"I am now apologizing to the buyer group for misrepresenting its position. I did so in good faith on the basis of what I was told in a March 23 letter from the Postal Service," Joseloff said in a statement. He said he spoke to Mulvey on Tuesday and was told that talks with the buyer about the Postal Service remaining in the building beyond the year provided in the contract happened after Mulvey sent his letter. Joseloff said Mulvey also told him the buyer offered basement space in the building, but the Postal Service did not see it as suitable.

Joseloff said he also spoke with representatives of the buyer group and received an excerpt of the sales contract from the group's attorney, Lawrence Weisman. The contract provides the buyer can lease back the property or a portion of it to the Postal Service for up to 12 months with three months rent-free.

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