More Zip Codes the better?

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Township seeks help in consolidating Zip Codes

UPPER TOWNSHIP – Officials said this week that they will appeal to Rep. Frank LoBiondo in an attempt to consolidated Zip Codes here.

 

In July, the United States Postal Service (USPS) denied a request to consolidate Upper Township Zip Codes citing increased costs. In a letter to township committee, the USPS said a new Zip Code including all of Upper Township would require additional staff and equipment at area post offices, including adding 10 new mail routes.

Committee members called that assertion wrong.

“There aren’t 10 routes in the township now,” said Committeeman Jay Newman.

Upper Township residents use at least five different Zip Codes, depending on where they live in the township. Beesleys Point residents use 08223 along with Marmora and some parts of Palermo, while other residents in Palermo, Ocean View and Seaville share the 08230 Zip Code with parts of Dennis Township. Residents in Petersburg and Tuckahoe also share their 08270 Zip Code with Woodbine. Those living in Strathmere use the 08248 Zip Code and residents in Tuckahoe use 08250.

The mix of Zip Codes can lead to confusion, and some odd delivery routes. On Tyler Road in Greenfield, for instance, homes are divided between the 08230 and 08270 Zip Codes. Half of the residents receive their mail from a carrier driving from the Woodbine Post Office and the other half receives mail from a carrier from the Marmora Post Office.

In Palermo and Seaville, some residents receive mail from the Ocean View Post Office in Dennis Township while others receive mail from the Marmora Post Office.

The Zip Codes can lead to more serious problems as well, including emergency response, higher homeowners’ insurance premiums and automobile insurance, according to committee members.

Newman, who is chief of the Marmora Volunteer Fire Company and oversees public safety for the township, has said a ZIP Code change could improve emergency responses in certain areas.

Ocean View is a section of both Upper Township and Dennis Township. Residents who call during emergencies and give their address as Ocean View have problems with responses all the time, he said.

ZIP Code changes could also ensure that the local firemen’s relief association receives money it is due. The funds, which go to provide burial benefits and other assistance to firefighters or their families in need, are dispersed by Zip Code. It is possible that money due to Upper Township’s local relief association is going to Woodbine or Dennis Township.

Committeeman Tony Inserra said flood insurance premiums could also be higher for some homeowners because they share a Zip Code with a flood prone area. Comparable home sales used when selling a home can be skewed lower for the same reason, he said.

Inserra asked if a resolution could be prepared asking state Sen. Jeff Van Drew to push for rule changes in the Department of Banking and Insurance to prevent that from happening in the future.

Solicitor Dan Young said those changes would be difficult to enforce.

“How do you legislate an appraiser to take into account another Zip Code,” he said.

Complicating matters, local post offices have gone through substantial changes recently, said Deputy Mayor Curtis Corson, Jr. The Ocean View Post Office has lost its rural delivery and staff from the Marmora Post Office have been moved to Ocean City, he said.

It’s not uncommon for residents in one town to receive mail from another, according to a 2006 report by the Congressional Research Service.

ZIP Codes are often not aligned with municipal boundaries. This can result in real estate transactions being misidentified, lower home values and even higher automobile or home insurance rates for residents, according to the report.

“Because ZIP Codes are based on the location of delivery post offices, they often do not correspond to political jurisdiction boundaries,” reads the report entitled ‘Changing Postal ZIP Code Boundaries.’ “This means that millions of Americans receive their mail from a post office in an adjacent town, village or neighborhood and their mailing address reflects the name and ZIP Code of that office instead of the jurisdiction where they actually live.”

 


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