Timber- Decades of poor maintenance practices came to a head this weekend at the Timber Post Office, leaving the building closed until further notice and pending a safety inspection by the US Postal Service, according to Becca Neyman, postmaster at the Timber Post Office.
In June of this year, Gene Powell purchased the property and building the Timber Post Office resides in. He discovered a monumental amount of repairs and maintenance were needed on the nearly 100 year old building. “I’m battling 40 years of deferred maintenance,” says Powell, a Portland native. “I was trying to put a vent pipe through the roof.”
While the roof was uncovered and open to the elements, the recent storm struck, causing extensive water damage to the interior of the building.
The plumbing system in the building has no vent, causing an unpleasant odor in the bathroom, for obvious reasons. It’s among an extensive list of maintenance and safety issues that Powell has tackled head on since purchasing the property four months ago. “I have to keep trudging along and get it done as quickly as possible. I want to make it safe and watertight for those who work there.” Powell says.
The prior owners left a damaged roof, damaged floor, sewage in the basement, water damage near the base of the building, and more.
As for what’s in store for the building, Powell has a lot of plans after repairs are done. He plans to add a workshop for his bicycle painting and restoration business on the property, and repair the lower apartment to make it livable again. And when the post office lease is up on the building, Powell has no plans to remove the post office.
“I’m perfectly happy to have the postal service here as long as they want to be.” Powell says.