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USPS now owns Gainesville branch
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Who built the building and leased the current site of the post office on Green Street to the U.S. Postal Service? Was the original lease for 20 years? Is the building now owned by the Postal Service? How many historic homes were demolished to clear the site?

According to Times archives, the post office opened at its current location in April 1967. Before that it was located at what is now part of the federal courthouse.

The property was advertised for sheriff's sale in 1975 because a $590,000 mortgage to the New England Mutual Insurance Co. was in default. A group of private investors, represented by Frank Norton Sr., bought the building shortly before the auction was scheduled.

At that point, the U.S. Postal Service leased the building for 20 years, with six consecutive five-year renewal options. At any time after those first 20 years, the postal service had the option of purchasing the building for between $645,000 and $675,000.

The postal service bought the building in 1991.

For most of its history, there has been a movement to relocate the post office off Green Street, due to traffic congestion.

The Gainesville City Council in 1975 passed a resolution asking postal officials to consider that move.

From a Times editorial May 2, 1977: "Conceivably, a campaign for a relocated Post Office could bear fruit by 1980. If we don't get it by then, we shudder to contemplate the traffic tangle that will develop on Green Street."

There were serious discussions and proposals through the years but, of course, none of those plans came to fruition. There is still much talk today about the need to relocate the office.

As for the homes on the property, those around at the time recollected between two and four houses sat in the general vicinity of where the post office is now.

If you have information about those homes, their history and who lived there, please contact The Times for a follow-up column on that topic.

Local architect Garland Reynolds did note that many homes on Green Street were preserved as the result of William L. Norton Jr.'s work to place the street on the National Register of Historic Places.

In the city of Gainesville local government, is the city attorney a private contractor? Does he receive city paid benefits? Why doesn't the city bid out legal services to the lowest bidder?

City Manager Kip Padgett said the city attorney is on the payroll for council work sessions and meetings and is subject to benefit offerings. He works as a private contractor on other duties he performs as city attorney.

Gainesville is billed hourly for those services.

Padgett said bidding out the services to the lowest bidder may "have less than desired results when attempting to ensure proper legal protection for the city."

He said council members take into account years of service, institutional knowledge and past performance.

Just recently, when arriving to do some shopping at Dave's Goody Barn on Memorial Drive, it was all locked up and everything there was gone! This was very sudden with no notice that they were going out of business. Could you please find out and tell us what happened?

Chris Brown, who was a managing member with Dave's Goody Barn, said the building was too big and the rental rate was increasing so they decided to let the space go when their lease ran out.

They currently have no locations open but are looking for new space in order to reopen, he said.

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