U.S. Postal Service officials plan to proceed with the marketing of the former Marina Proccessing and Distribution Center property on Jefferson Boulevard in the Del Rey area, after denying a request by U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer to delay the sale for six months.

The Postal Service has proposed to begin the marketing for the Marina Processing Center property Friday, September 16th.

The Marina Processing Center facility, across Alla Road from Home Depot, was closed in mid-July.

Postal Service officials had originally planned to put the 20-acre property on the market in August, but agreed to delay the marketing until September 16th after a request by Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl.

Rosendahl and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wrote letters to Boxer, requesting her support to seek a six-month delay for the sale in order to allow the public enough time to secure funds to purchase the property.

In a letter addressed to U.S. Postmaster General John Potter Friday, August 19th, Boxer wrote:

“If the sale was delayed for at least 180 days, the public would be better able to complete the process and present a bid that compensates the Postal Service fairly.”

But in a letter addressed to Boxer Tuesday, September 6th, Mary Ann Simpson, manager of Postal Service government relations, said that postal officials have decided not to further delay the marketing of the property.

“A further delay of six months would cost the Postal Service over $2 million, at a minimum, in maintenance, interest and opportunity loss,” Simpson wrote.

Postal officials acknowledged the effort by the local community, including the Del Rey Park Task Force, to create youth sports fields at the 20-acre property, but said that funding options were not likely even within a sixth-month time frame.

One of the possible funding options mentioned by the Del Rey Park Task Force is a bill introduced by State Senator Wesley Chesbro, which awaits passage by the state Assembly and might provide a $3.8 billion bond measure for parks and coastal areas.

“We understand the legislation to place a bond measure before California voters in June 2006, that the community was relying upon to seek funding for the purchase, has been tabled until the next legislative session,” Simpson wrote.

“As a result, this potential source of funding will be delayed well beyond the six month period.”

Local environmentalists have also proposed a park at the site that would include a combination of environmental space, sports fields and a community building.

Simpson added in the letter that postal officials expect that some city officials may not favor converting the site into a park.

In denying the request to delay the sale of the property, postal officials said the sale “provides an opportunity for the city to get a valuable piece of property back on the tax rolls and maintain the jobs that the property will provide within the city.”

Park proponents will have an opportunity to submit a purchase proposal during the anticipated 45-to-60-day marketing period for the property starting Friday, September 16th, Simpson said.

Chris Nevil, Del Rey Park Task Force member, said the Postal Service plans, although disappointing, only force the Task Force to work more quickly in its effort to create youth sports fields at the site.

“We don’t consider the matter closed,” Nevil said. “We will continue to pursue all avenues to funding and try to create enough time to accomplish our objec-