BY ANITA STIEFEL
LOACHAPOKA— After several delays, Loachapoka is finally getting its new post office.
According to Mayor Ricky Holder, the project has been in the works for several years.
“In October of 2021, [the U.S. Postal Service] closed our post office,” Holder said. “They had been leasing part of a building from a catering company, but the catering company wanted to expand into that space. They told them a year ahead of time [in October 2020] that they weren’t going to renew the lease.”
With no facilities in town, anyone in Loachapoka who needed postal services had to drive to Notasulga.
“They moved all of our post office boxes to Notasulga, because the Auburn Post Office didn’t have room,” Holder said. “It was an inconvenience.”
Construction on the new post office was delayed “because of red tape, because of Covid, because of the increase in cost of building materials,” he explained. The project had to be re-bid numerous times because price of construction supplies kept going up.
“It’s been one roadblock after the next, but we made it through, and we’re fixing to have our post office back,” Holder said.
The USPS constructed a foundation on which the prefabricated, 1,300-square-foot building sits.
“We’ve had a lot of people say, ‘That’s too small,’ but it’s two-and-a-half times as big as the old space, which was tiny — only about 500 to 600 square feet,” he said.
“The building came assembled, with post boxes and everything ready to go inside,” Holder said. “They’re putting the finishing touches on it now — they’re hooking up the water and electricity, and the contractor said it would be ready by the end of the month.”