Hobart officials still seek ZIP code change, despite rejection

2013-09-14T19:37:00Z 2013-12-19T15:48:04Z Hobart officials still seek ZIP code change, despite rejectionDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | City officials will continue their fight to switch the postal designation of the Ross Township retail/residential corridor to a Hobart ZIP code.

City officials earlier this summer received a letter from the U.S. Postal Service in Washington, D.C., turning down an appeal sent May 20, Mayor Brian Snedecor said.

The rejection letter, which denied switching the present Merrillville ZIP code to a Hobart ZIP code, won't deter city officials, who will launch a second round of requests starting back at the state level.

"We'll continue to fight," Snedecor said.

In her letter of rejection, Elizabeth A. Schaefer, manager of delivery operations for postal services in Washington, D.C., said "the costs involved with making a change in ZIP codes would far outweigh the gains and would require enormous shifts in our processing, transportation and delivery methods."

Schaeffer also said in her letter, "the Hobart Post Office doesn't have sufficient space to accommodate the carriers necessary for an additional 3,000 deliveries."

The city filed the appeal to federal officials after receiving a letter of rejection from the U.S. Postal Service in Indianapolis, Bob Fulton said.

Fulton, who serves as Snedecor's assistant, said city officials are not giving up and are also enlisting the aid of legislators.

"We'll start over again," Fulton said.

The state postal service earlier this year turned down the city's request, which was to change the ZIP code in the Ross Township annexed area to reflect it's part of Hobart and not Merrillville, Fulton said.

Westfield Southlake mall and the 9 square miles that surround it have been part of Hobart for nearly 20 years, yet many continue to refer to the Ross Township corridor annexed by Hobart as Merrillville because the addresses remain with the 46410 ZIP code, Snedecor said.

Hobart has a 46342 ZIP code.

Fulton said the ZIP code issue has caused identity problems in the past. A new gas station on U.S. 30 erroneously went through Merrillville officials instead of Hobart officials.

In addition to correcting identity issues, Snedecor said he also has some public safety concerns.

Emergency responders might have difficulty finding locations particularly with the expansion from local dispatchers to the new regional E-911 emergency communications center.

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