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Space occupied— Continued.
408 2, 748 1, 365 4, 522 35, 460 3, 039
72, 157 The following Federal offices are located in the Old Post Office Building at Sixteenth and Dodge Streets:
Square Fee Post Office Railway Mail Service.
34, 514 Reconstruction Finance Corporation.
4, 310 Post Office inspector.
1, 072 Works Progress Administration writers project.
1, 057 National Emergency Council..
734 United States marshal. Circuit court of appeals.
1, 276 Probation officer..
312 Judge of the district court.
992 Clerk of the district court. United States attorney
1, 736 Alcohol Tax Unit.
1, 233 Bureau of Labor Statistics..
1, 170 Civil Service examination room.
1, 666 Bureau of Census..
739 United States Commissioner.
1, 682 Douglas County Consumers Council.
487 Interstate Commerce Commission..
260 Market Administrator, Agricultural Adjustment Administration...
463 Jury room.
988 Bureau of Narcotics.
63, 931 The following Federal offices are located in rented quarters and could be housed in the new Post Office Building at a considerable saving to the Government:
Better Housing Administration, Saunders-Kennedy Bldg. (approximate).
The following Federal offices are in rented space but because of the type of service rendered are located near the stockyards:
The Omaha Post Office Building was finished for occupancy November 1, 1898, and was enlarged in 1902. The ground floor is given over to post-office purposes only, and the balance of the building is used by other Federal offices.
The post-office building in Omaha, is a well-constructed building but is now 38 years old. Heating, lighting, and plumbing equipment are all out of date, and the interior arrangement of the building is poor.
There is too much space on the first floor used for entrances and corridors, the corridors on the second floor are wide with rooms only on one side, and for the amount of cubic space in the building the usable space is very limited. Outside of the basement, the post-office building space is divided as follows:
Square feet Usable office space.
63, 931 Vaults and record storage space.
2, 350 Corridors..
31, 250 Washrooms.
99, 756 In 1935 an appropriation of $225,000 was approved for repairs to the post-office building. These repairs include three new elevators, new heating equipment, new lighting and ventilating equipment, and changes on the first floor to provide enlarged accommodations for the finance section of the post office and alterations on the second and third floors to provide quarters for the circuit court of appeals. Probably no more than $40,000 of the entire appropriation as allocated will be spent for improving conditions in the post office proper. None of the contemplated alterations correct the fundamental faults of the building, which are lack of natural lighting, inefficient arrangement of space, and improper ventilation.
In 1928 the Treasury Department sent a special representative, Mr. J. M. Story, to Omaha to make a survey of both the postal and Federal facilities. His investigation indicated that it would soon be very necessary to replace the present post-office building, and it was his opinion that any remodeling of the ground floor for postal purposes would be only a temporary expedient to serve for 5 to 10 years at the best.
At various times consideration has been given by the Post Office Department to the erection of a new building at Tenth and Mason Streets, to be used in connection with the building leased from the Burlington Railway Co. and called the Burlington station of the Omaha post office. This is a 20-year lease expiring June 30, 1946. At the time the present Union and Burlington stations were erected the Post Office Department gave consideration to the building of postal facilities above the tracks west of the station, but nothing was done.
The actual carrying out of the repairs on the present building have been delayed because the bids were more than the amount allocated. When the bids were rejected it was understood that a new plan was to be worked out which would confine the expenditures to approximately $144,000. Inasmuch as nothin has been done with the proposed repairs, and they would not correct the faults of the building it would seem wise and proper that consideration be given to an entirely new structure.
NEW POST-OFFICE BUILDING When the present post-office building was completed and occupied in 1898, the postal receipts were 13.6 percent of what they are now.
The following is the record of postal receipts for Omaha for the fiscal years ending June 30:
$2, 846, 138. 83 1895. 259, 876. 15 | 1930.
3, 104, 251. 96 1900. 393, 932. 56 | 1931.
2, 911, 528. 31 1905. 603, 633. 07 | 1932
2, 576, 547. 71 1910 957, 386, 25 1933.
2, 553, 968. 07 1915. 1, 446, 325. 44 1934.
2, 458, 899. 15 1920.. 2, 288, 387. 20 | 1935.
2, 480, 317. 69 The above figures upon postal receipts indicate that the Post Office Department is warranted in giving consideration to an entirely new structure to properly house not only the Post Office Department but other Federal offices now located in rented quarters.
Only one Federal building has been erected in Omaha since the post-office building was completed in 1898, and that is the Federal Office Building at Fifteenth and Dodge Streets, for which only $565,000 was allocated.
The new building should be planned to take care of the following agencies in addition to the Postal Service and those now housed in the present post-office building: National Park Service, regional office; United States Bureau of Public Roads; United States Engineers Office; Department of Justice, Bureau of Investigation.
In addition to the above Federal offices there are a number of State and regional Federal agencies occupying space in other cities which could and should be located in Omaha if space was available.
The present post-office building is only able to handle a very limited amount of outgoing mail. All the mail collected from boxes of the city is taken directly to the Burlington station. If a new building is erected both the incoming and outgoing mail could be handled in the same building and the space in the Burlington station turned over to the Railway Mail Service for a consolidation of mail terminal facilities.
CONCLUSION. Omaha is the only city in the Middle West and one of the few cities of any size in the United States which has not been provided with an adequate post-office building within the last few years. For this immediate area facilities have been enlarged and new buildings have been erected in the following cities: Wichita and Topeka, Kans.; Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Okla.; St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo.; Des Moines and Sioux City, Iowa; Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.; Sioux Falls and Aberdeen, S. Dak.; Denver, Colo.
Kansas City, which has a new post-office building, erected at a cost of $3,500,000 now is granted another large postal building on the site of the old post office, which was erected about the same time as the Omaha post office and which is being torn down to make way for the new structure.
In view of the fact that the present post-office building is unsightly, inefficient, and that the long-delayed repairs even when made will not correct the fundamental faults of this 38-year old building, it is urgently requested that the Post Office and Treasury Departments immediately take steps to ascertain
the present condition of the post-office building in Omaha, the needs of the Post Office and other Federal Departments, and draw up plans for the proper housing of these Federal agencies.
The last survey was made in 1928 and we urgently request this new survey to determine how to adequately meet the requirements of the permanent Federal offices in Omaha.
Mr. McLaughlin. I would like to call this to your attention, Mr. Chairman, and gentlemen of the committee, while I have this opportunity Omaha is the center of a great many Federal activities. It is the center of agricultural activities, including the Farm Credit Administration; it is also the center of national park activities, of the C. C. C., and a great number of other Federal activities, not all of which are temporary in character. There are a large number of permanent activities being housed outside of the Federal Building in Omaha. The report of the inspectors shows that a total of 77,000 square feet of space is being used by the Federal Government today, for which the Government is paying an annual rental of $85,824.77.
This item alone would pay 4-percent annual interest on a capitalized investment of over $2,000,000.
The outstanding justification for the new building is the fact that the present facilities are inadequate to meet the requirements imposed upon the building. The health conditions are not good and the working conditions are not satisfactory: There is not sufficient space in which to do the work required, and it is inefficiently done.
The postmaster has written me a very extensive letter which supplements the brief which I have already presented.
There is this additional fact which I think is something very important and which I think deserves serious consideration.
Reference was made here a while ago while I was in the room to the plan by which it is intended and desired that each congressional district would secure a Federal post-office building, that is to say, each district would be supplied adequate facilities out of annual appropriations.
There has been no Federal building erected in the Second Congressional District of Nebraska since 1932, although that district has & population of about 300,000. I submit that is a factor which should be considered and should have weight with the committee.
I appreciate the fact that the Bugdet has recommended only $23,000,000 for all Federal post-office buildings. I know we are all interested in economy. I believe, first, that this is an instance in which, if necessary, this committee is justified in exceeding the Budget.
And, secondly, if the committee does not exceed the Budget I feel that this request is justified and well founded, although it would take, if you adhere to the Budget, nearly 10 percent of the Budget amount. I appreciate that fact, and I know that you would naturally feel that that might be unreasonable. But under all the circumstances, I believe the city of Omaha is justified in making this request for favorable consideration.
Mr. Ludlow. In the Budget estimate there is only about 144 million dollars for new construction. The other part of the amount relates to the extension of projects already existing.
Mr. McLaughlin. I am glad you brought that out, for this reason. This is a point which I think is a very strong factor.
In 1935, or before this survey was made, to which I have referred, and which I assume you have before you, another survey was made for the purpose of determining whether alterations would be in order there, and while it was recognized that the alterations would be only a makeshift, because when they finish the alterations they would have an old building remodeled, they recommended that the sum of $225,000 be expended for remodeling the old post office.
When the request was made for this survey, and when the inspectors reported favorably upon the project for a new post office building at Omaha, the interdepartmental committee cancelled the $225,000 figure for alterations, going on the theory that it would be very unwise to expend that money, in view of the fact that they are recommending a new building with an expenditure of 2 million dollars. These facts I submit, constitute an additional reason, and a very strong one, why an appropriation for a new building should be voted immediately.
Mr. WOODRUM. We thank you for your statement, Mr. McLaughlin.
POST OFFICE BUILDINGS AT JACKSON AND DEXTER, MO.
STATEMENT OF HØN. ORVILLE ZIMMERMAN, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MISSOURI
Mr. WOODRUM. Mr. Zimmerman, the committee will be glad to hear such statement as you may desire to make.
Mr. ZIMMERMAN. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I represent the Tenth Congressional District of Missouri, which is a rural section.
I have two towns in my district that are qualified for a Federal building, one of which is Jackson, Mo., which is one of our historic
The first land office west of the Mississippi was located there. It is a town of about 3,500 population, and it has been on the eligible list for a number of years. The postal receipts there amount to 12 or 14 thousand dollars a year.
Dexter, Mo., is another good town in my district, about half way between Poplar Bluff, Mo., and Cairo, Ill.
They are qualified in receipts, and they are in bad need of adequate facilities to carry on the work in that community.
I want to commend this committee for the program you have had for the last few years, and I hope that program will continue.
Our larger cities have fared better than our rural sections. There is no doubt about that.
But if you go into our rural towns, like Jackson, and Dexter, Mo., thriving, progressive, growing towns, you will find the post office located in some store building, or in a building not built for that purpose. That is the kind of place in which the Government is carrying on its business in these communities.
I think it is a very fine thing for the Government to construct, even in the rural communities, adequate buildings for the transaction of Government business in these communities.
I want to say to you that in the towns in my section the Government establishments in these towns are about the poorest establishments you will find anywhere, and I hope that this committee will recommend an adequate appropriation to carry on this program of building at least one adequate Federal building in each district. If that is continued over a number of years the Government will have respectable quarters in which to house its employees and in which to transact its business.
I think it is a fine thing for the communities as well as the Government, for the Government to take notice of these communities, and establish places there for the transaction of business, especially since governmental activities have increased as they have in the last few years, and as I have no doubt they will continued to increase in the years to come.
There are other towns in my district that need further improvements, such as the city of Cape Girardeau. There the Federal court is located in the second story of the building and carried to the third story, without elevator facilities, and at every term of court there is a jam, and besides the post office does not have adequate space.
But I am not asking for a new building at that place at this time because the need in some of the other towns is so great, and the buildings are so inadequate.