Photo by George Lauby
The longstanding mail boxes on the east side of North Platte’s federal building have been removed at the request of the owner of the building -- the General Services Administration, a federal agency.
One box remains on the same block -- on the north (front) side of the building.
The removal of the three drive-up boxes marks a distinct change in what was once the city’s bustling downtown post office.
In August 2015, the post office moved to the postal service distribution center in the industrial area on the east edge of the city. The rent was too expensive at the federal building, postal officials said.
The GSA sets the rent.
At one time, motorists would line up to drop mail in the three drive-thru boxes. Inside, people would wait in line at the counter to mail packages.
Ironically, the federal building was fully renovated in 2010-12 at a cost of $6.2 million, under the government’s stimulus plan to re-energize the nation’s sagging economy.
After the post office moved to the east edge of town, Ace Hardware opened a contract postal unit. There is also a drive-through mail box at Ace, which is about four blocks away downtown at 200 E. Sixth.
And, there is a drive-up box at the main entrance of the Westfield shopping plaza, and one along Rodeo Road near the Union Pacific Credit Union.
North Platte Postmaster Pam Erickson said there are no plans to remove other mailboxes around town.