GI Post Office location move causes some community members to be upset
After more than a month of back and forth between the community and U. S. Postal Service (USPS), Grand Island's post office will be moved to a new location on Potash.
The postal service said the $50,000 a year lease on the current downtown post office is unsustainable given the deficits the agency faces. So it will move to a former mail sorting center on Old Potash which a property it already owns.
Some people in town are concerned about the move. They say the new location is removed from the population base and has no pedestrian access. With the post office's new Potash location, it has business owners and people in the community upset about the inconvenience this change will cause.
"You wonder really, if your voice got heard," said an avid USPS Railside user Brent Lindner.
That's what people who opposed the removal of the downtown post office say they felt like after hearing the final decision that it will in fact be moving to the location on Potash.
People opposing its removal went as far as collecting signatures to show how much they wanted it to stay on Railside.
"It's a needed day to day business function and personal use–having a post office nearby," said Brian Whitecalf, who helped collect signatures and letters.
He said he understands for cost efficiency why it needs to be moved, but he’s hoping for a compromise. He wants the postal service to have some type of sub–station downtown.
"The cost of leasing it out every year for $50,000, it's probably not the most cost effective plan. That's why I think it's important that there's some sort of downtown retail location of some sort," Whitecalf said.
Brett Lindner is a multi–business owner downtown who says he goes to the USPS on Railside every day and that this new location will inconvenience him in more ways than one. He said he won’t be able to go to the location that's across town as often.
"I like getting all my mail at a centralized location, rather than having mail at each restaurant that I pick," he said. "It's just a matter of convenience. I think it's a matter of convenience for a lot of people which is now going to be taken away, unfortunately."
Another large reason people say they oppose the new location is how busy the traffic is in that area. There was also concern about whether the new location will have crosswalks, walkways and sidewalks, like the one on Railside. They say the new location poses safety hazards, but the USPS sent out a press release late Friday evening saying they've considered the community's concerns, but this is the most cost efficient way. The USPS also gave a list of alternative locations to other businesses that offer mailing services nearby, as well as their other location on Webb road.
The current location will be in use until the one on Potash is ready. Its completion date is June 1, 2018.