02.18.15

SCHUMER LAUNCHES PUSH TO GET HALFMOON ITS OWN ZIP CODE; TOWN IS CURRENTLY DIVIDED AMONG FOUR ZIP CODES – LOCAL RESIDENTS & BUSINESSES MUST LIST OTHER TOWNS AS THEIR ADDRESS; RESULTS IN CONFUSION & LOST REVENUE, HINDERS EMERGENCY RESPONSE

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


Schumer Push For Halfmoon Zip Code Clarity Would Put An End To The 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 to USPS: The Town of Halfmoon Deserves its Own Zip Code

Today, at Halfmoon Town Hall, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer launched his push to secure a zip code for the Town of Halfmoon, which currently is split among four different towns’ zip codes but does not have one of its own. Schumer explained that this 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 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 urged the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to work with local officials, who have been pushing for this for a decade, to get this done as soon as possible.

“Right now, the Town of Halfmoon’s lack of a unique zip code is hindering emergency response efforts, deterring business development, and leading to significant confusion among residents and visitors. Not having its own identifier means Halfmoon is separated and divided among the four surrounding communities and this is negatively impacting Halfmoon’s ability to grow, expand, and generate revenue,” said Schumer. “The Town of Halfmoon has worked to secure a zip code of its own for more than a decade, and it is high time we get this over the finish line. That is why I am calling on the U.S. Postal Service to work with local residents, businesses, and local officials to make a unique zip code for Halfmoon a reality, and I am asking them to do it as soon as possible. By securing the zip code this town needs and deserves, we can enhance public safety, open the area up to increased business activity and economic growth, and give residents and locals a true, black and white way of identifying Halfmoon as their home and their piece of the rock.”

“It is critical for Halfmoon to obtain its own Zip Code for many reasons, including improving emergency services and 911 response, collecting and analyzing data for assisting those in need, identifying existing businesses within Halfmoon and attracting new business, obtaining grant funding, and constituents requests,” said Kevin J. Tollisen, Supervisor for the Town of Halfmoon. “Senator Schumer has responded favorably and pledged his support to help Halfmoon secure its own Zip Code.”

Schumer explained that the Town of Halfmoon, located in Saratoga County, is home to 22,000 residents and a rapidly growing economy.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. Currently, Halfmoon is split among four different towns’ zip codes. Schumer said that this forces most residents and businesses to list their address as something other than Halfmoon, either Clifton Park, Waterford, Mechanicville or Round Lake. This has resulted in lost revenue, confusion, and provided a hindrance to emergency response. Schumer said the Town of Halfmoon has been requesting a unique zip code since 2004 to no avail. For the sake of improving emergency response, encouraging economic development, and diminishing confusion among residents and visitors, Schumer is launching his push to secure a zip code for the Town of Halfmoon. Schumer is calling 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 get this done as soon as possible.

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.

 

Schumer also 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.

 

In order to remedy the situation, Schumer is calling on the USPS to work with local officials and begin a ZIP Code Boundary Review Process, which allows the federal agency to consider a municipality’s request for a unique zip code based on town boundaries. Schumer said this suggestion is the best way for USPS to work with locals to ensure this gets done as soon as possible.

 

Schumer was joined by Town Supervisor Kevin Tollisen, members of the Town Board, NYS Senator Kathy Marchione, Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo, Lawrence DeVoe of DeVoe’s Rainbow Orchards, Chief Art Hunsinger of the Clifton Park – Halfmoon Fire Department, is Pete Bardunias, President of the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County.

 

A copy of Senator Schumer’s 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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