Postal Service denies city new ZIP code
September 3, 2009
By Tim Pfarr
United States Postal Service Seattle District Manager Katherine Nash recently sent a letter to the city of Newcastle officially declining the city’s request for a new ZIP code.
City officials said they have not yet decided whether they will appeal at the federal level.
“There have been no substantial changes to the number of addresses within the city requiring a ZIP Code, there is no postal facility within the city and there are no ZIP codes available to honor this request,” Nash said in the letter. “The U.S. Postal Service does not need an additional ZIP Code to successfully deliver mail to the residents of Newcastle.”
In the letter, Nash also stated that Renton Postmaster Evelyn Tan-Todd spoke with the letter carriers who serve Newcastle, and she said that delivery issues should be resolved.
For now, the city will remain split between the ZIP codes 98056 and 98059, which it shares with Renton.
“We’re disappointed our attempts to get a ZIP code were denied,” said Mayor Ben Varon. “I feel it’s a big disservice to the community.”
Councilman Sonny Putter said the issue goes beyond the delivery of mail. He said he pays more for car insurance because the city shares ZIP codes with Renton. He said if his three vehicles were licensed in Factoria (ZIP code 98006), where he works, he would pay 25 percent less for car insurance.
“It’s clear that there’s an economic cost to sharing ZIP codes with Renton,” Putter said.
The city has 45 days from Aug. 6 — when the letter was sent — to appeal at the federal level, which means appealing to the Washington, D.C., branch of the postal service.