02.24.15

SCHUMER ANNOUNCES U.S. POSTAL SERVICE HAS HEEDED HIS CALL & AGREED TO UNDERTAKE REVIEW PROCESS THAT COULD GIVE HALFMOON ITS OWN ZIP CODE; TOWN IS CURRENTLY SPLIT AMONG FOUR DIFFERENT TOWNS’ ZIP CODES – REVIEW IS CRITICAL FIRST STEP TOWARD PREVENTING CONFUSION THAT HINDERS EMERGENCY RESPONSE & HURTS LOCAL BUSINESSES

Halfmoon Is One of the Fastest Growing Towns in Saratoga County, But Most of Its 22K Residents & Dozens of Businesses Are Divided Among 4 Zip Codes & Forced To List Their Addresses as Clifton Park, Waterford, Mechanicville or Round Lake; Only a Few Can List Halfmoon As Their Address  

Schumer Came to Halfmoon Last Week to Push For Town to Have its Own Zip Code, Which Would Provide Much-Needed Clarity & Put An End To Ambiguity – Many Businesses Want To Use Halfmoon As Their Address, But Decide Against It Due to Potential Customer Confusion; Similar Street Names in Halfmoon & Neighboring Towns Mean That Sometimes Emergency Services Are Dispatched To Incorrect Location

 

Schumer: Halfmoon Has Been Clamoring for Its Own Zip Code for Over A Decade & This Is An Excellent Step Forward In The Push To Get The Town The Unique Identifier

 

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that, following his push, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has agreed to undertake a Zip Code Boundary Review Process that could secure a unique zip code for the Town of Halfmoon, which currently is split among four different towns’ zip codes. Schumer said that this is an important first step toward bringing the Town of Halfmoon, which has been pushing for this for a decade, the unique zip code it needs and deserves. 

 

Schumer said this USPS Boundary Review Process will allow the federal agency to consider the Town of Halfmoon’s request for a unique zip code based on town boundaries. During a visit to Halfmoon just one week ago at the request of Town Supervisor Kevin Tollisen, Schumer announced he was joining the effort to secure a zip code for the Town of Halfmoon, and began pushing the USPS to agree to a Zip Code Boundary Review Process. Schumer said that this Zip Code Boundary Review is just one step in the process, and he will continue to make his case to the USPS for why this unique zip code is needed. According to the USPS, the Zip Code Boundary Review Process is expected to be completed this spring.

 

“Residents of the Town of Halfmoon have been pushing for a unique zip code for over a decade, and for the first time they finally have some progress. This review process is a critical first step toward seeing whether a new zip code is feasible, and I will continue to make it clear to the Postal Service throughout this process why a new zip code is needed,” said Schumer. “Local officials have made it clear to me that the town’s lack of a unique zip code can hinder emergency response efforts, impacts new businesses and can lead to significant confusion among residents and visitors. Not having its own identifier means Halfmoon is separated and divided among the four surrounding communities. Halfmoon needs and deserves its own zip code, and I will work as hard as I can with local leaders to get it over the finish line.”

 

“It is great news that after all of these years of trying, the USPS is finally taking a serious look at our zip code situation,” said Kevin Tollisen, Supervisor of the Town of Halfmoon. “I want to thank Sen. Schumer for his attention and for getting the ball rolling, and I believe that the USPS will see that we deserve a zip code after they complete the study.”

  

In his visit to Halfmoon last week, Schumer explained that this lack of a unique zip code forces most residents and businesses to list their address as something other than Halfmoon, either Clifton Park, Waterford, Mechanicville or Round Lake. This leads to significant confusion for visitors, hurts businesses’ bottom lines and even has a negative impact on emergency response. Schumer noted that new businesses are encouraged to use the Town of Halfmoon in their name, but many choose not to when they realize they will need to put a different town’s name in their address. Schumer also said that lcal leaders say that emergency responders can sometimes be dispatched to the wrong location as a result of the zip code ambiguity, since many of the streets in Halfmoon and the neighboring towns have the same name.

 

Schumer called on the USPS to work with local officials—who have been working to secure a zip code for the Town of Halfmoon for more than a decade—to conduct a review that would explore ways to provide the town with its own zip code. Today, Schumer announced that the USPS has, on the heels of his push, begun a Zip Code Boundary Review Process that would study providing the town with its own zip code identifier. This review will now allow the federal agency to consider the Town of Halfmoon’s request for a unique zip code based on its town boundaries. Schumer said that this is the critical first step in a process that could allow the Town of Halfmoon to obtain this zip code.

 

During his visit, Schumer explained that the town, located in Saratoga County, is home to 22,000 residents. According to the town, Halfmoon is one of the fastest growing towns, both residentially and commercially, in the entire county. Schumer said, however, despite the area’s growth and expansion, it lacks one major identifier that has become confusing for residents, a deterrent for businesses, and even dangerous for emergency crews: its own zip code. 

 

Schumer said that enhancing public safety is a key reason why a unique Halfmoon zip code is needed. Since the emergency 911 Service uses zip codes to track addresses and dispatch emergency personnel, Schumer said that the Town of Halfmoon’s lack of a zip code could lead to emergency crews being dispatched to the wrong location when time is of the essence, especially since Halfmoon shares street names with surrounding towns. For example, both the Towns of Halfmoon and Clifton Park have streets named “Birchwood Drive.” According to the town, emergency personnel have been dispatched to the wrong location before, which could put lives in danger during an emergency situation. Schumer said this issue could be solved by providing the Town of Halfmoon a clear identifier through its own zip code.

 

Schumer also explained that the lack of a unique zip code for the Town of Halfmoon is a hindrance to existing local business and a deterrent to new businesses looking to potentially move into the area. Schumer said that existing businesses have reported lost revenue due to customers becoming confused and unable to locate their place of business. In addition, according to the town, new businesses are often encouraged to use the Town of Halfmoon in their name, but many choose not to when they realize they will need to put a different town’s name in their address. Additionally, many large companies, including hotel chains and retail stores, use zip code driven data to determine locations for expansion. Schumer said the Town of Halfmoon, with its rapidly growing population and commercial activity, could be missing out on being considered as a place for business expansion because it lacks its own zip code. This means the town could be missing out on significant tax revenue as well as economic development potential.

 

Finally, Schumer noted that the lack of an identifier hinders the town when it comes to applying for federal grants. As the town expands, Schumer said, it might consider looking into more federal programs and grants to assist in its continued development. However, these application efforts could be stifled if a federal agency requires a zip code to apply. Schumer said many of these grant programs that provide various resources to localities and municipalities use data tied to zip codes to determine whether to award grants, and since Halfmoon is split among four zip codes it can be difficult for the town to present the proper data. The town has said this is a hindrance in obtaining federal funds.

  

A copy of Senator Schumer’s initial letter to the Albany District Manager for the USPS appears below:

 

Dear District Manager:

 

I write today to bring your attention to an important matter impacting the residents of Halfmoon, New York, and request that USPS undertake a ZIP Code Boundary Review for the Town of Halfmoon.

 

The residents of Halfmoon, New York, one of the fastest-growing towns in Saratoga County, have for many years identified themselves as Halfmoon residents but been forced to list neighboring municipalities, such as Clifton Park, when writing out their addresses, since Halfmoon does not have its own unique ZIP code.  In addition to causing confusion when addressing mail and establishing new businesses, this inconsistency has also resulted in emergency services dispatched to the wrong address (Clifton Park and Halfmoon have some similar street names).

 

Addressing this serious issue by beginning the ZIP Code Boundary Review process will allow Town leaders and residents to open a dialogue with USPS in order to determine the best course of action for the Town.  I know that USPS will make every reasonable effort to accommodate this simple and sensible request, and look forward to working with you to ensure that the review begins as soon as possible.

 

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator



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