The popular drive by mail boxes on Front Street in Hamilton have been moved for a paving and sidewalk project. The move is only temporary, according to officials. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Hamilton residents rankled by move of 2 well-used downtown mailboxes

A city paving and curb and sidewalk replacement project began late last month week, and the boxes were moved to the west side of the street to get them out of the way of construction, according to Rich Engle, Hamilton director of engineering.

The $2 million project paid for by city and grant funding will run on Front Street from High to the railroad tracks on Sycamore Street, where improvements including gates are planned by the CSX railroad at that crossing, Engle said.

A timeline of the completion of the paving project is not known and is largely dependant on the weather, including rain.

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“We had to ask the post office to move the boxes out of our way during construction and so that they would not get damaged,” Engle said. “But it is temporary.”

The big blue boxes were well-used in the former location in the middle of the street, said Butler County Recorder Danny Crank, who was a frequent user.

“I am a mail guy, I know a lot of people do stuff online. I just have been parking and going into the post office,” he said.

County Treasurer Nancy Nix, after trying to put mail in the box on the west side of the street in a rain storm, wondered about the change in a Facebook post. She later deleted it after learning the move was temporary.

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“They are unusable where they are now, unless you park or reach all the way across the passenger side, but with the construction, I figured it was temporary,” Nix said.

A post office employee said the office gets about 20 to 30 questions a day about the move.

There are drive-by boxes behind the post office that are easy to access from a vehicle but require drivers to go around the post office building.

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