Troutman Council supports ZIP code realignment for some areas
BY DEBBIE PAGE
During its pre-agenda meeting on Monday, the Troutman Town Council decided to send a request to the U.S. Postal Service to ask that areas of town that still have a Statesville address be moved to the town’s address and ZIP code. Barium Seasons Homeowners Association requested that the town seek the change.
The affected portions of town extend down Old Mountain Road to just before Ball Drive and down East Monbo Road to Talley Road area. North of town, the area included in the request includes Highway 21 up to Moose Club Road, including the Barium Springs area.
In the letter, the Mayor Teross Young stated, “In the past year alone, the Town of Troutman has seen exponential growth with more on the horizon. The Town Council has approved tens of millions of dollars in residential, commercial, and infrastructure improvement projects. With all of the people and businesses that have decided to call Troutman home, we find a large portion of this populous to have a Statesville postal code.”
He then explained the circuitous process for a letter mailed from one of these areas to a town address. “Currently, if a letter is mailed from one of these residents or businesses to our Town Hall, the letter travels to Statesville, then to Greensboro, then to Charlotte, and then to Mooresville, where a carrier picks it up for delivery to Town Hall.”
“If a letter is mailed within the Troutman ZIP code, it travels to Charlotte then to Mooresville for delivery. If there was only one point to note about the importance of a ZIP code realignment for Troutman, it would be the increase in efficiency of the postal distribution and delivery network that you currently have in place.”
Young also noted that the address issue causes jurisdictional confusion among residents, as well as misunderstandings about voter precincts and municipal services.
He also argued that the change would lead “to a more factual representation of home values driven by ZIP codes; costs of services are more accurately reflected between towns; educational options are clearly identifiable; and it can also improve the USPS Every Door Direct Mail service.”
“These positive changes can help both the USPS and the Town of Troutman operate more effectively,” he added.
“This reasonable accommodation will help our current residents, future residents, and guests to be able to unequivocally call Troutman home,” concluded Young.
Devised in the 1960s, ZIP codes are often not aligned with municipal boundaries. Millions of Americans have mailing addresses in neighboring jurisdictions, the result of which can be higher insurance rates, confusion in voter registration, misdirected property and sales tax revenues for municipalities, and changes in property values.
Some communities complain that the need to use mailing addresses of adjacent areas denies them a community identity.
After years of complaints, Congress mandated in 2011 that the agency institute a “ZIP Code Boundary Review Process” that promises every reasonable effort to consider and, if possible, accommodate municipal requests modify ZIP code boundaries.
The process places responsibility on district managers to review requests for boundary adjustments, to evaluate costs and benefits of alternative solutions to identified problems, and to provide decisions within 60 days.
If a district manager rejects the request, the process provides for an appeal to the manager of delivery at USPS headquarters, where a review decision is provided within 60 days.
N.C. House representative John Fraley, who represents the area, is supportive of the request.
BUDGET RETREAT DATE SET
The council will start the process of building its budget for 2019-20 on Wednesday, April 17, at 2 p.m. This meeting is likely the first of at least two focused on the discussion of budget allocations for the next fiscal year.
CITIZEN/ORGANIZATION OF YEAR NOMINATIONS DUE
Nominations are due by close of business on March 22 for the Troutman Citizen of the Year and the Troutman Organization of the Year. Nomination forms are available on the town’s website at https://www.troutmannc.gov. Click on the “Forms and Documents” section at left; the forms are located in the “Administrative” section.
Town Clerk Kim Davis said only one nomination for either has been received so far.
AGENDA FOR THURSDAY NIGHT
The council will vote on a number of issues, recognize several organizations, and hear departmental reports at its regular meeting on Thursday night. Members will:
► Consider approval of an agreement with N-Focus to provide code enforcement services from April 1 through June 30 and, if approved, also consider a budget amendment of $5,226 to cover the cost. The funds budgeted for this year were spent by December because of heavier than expected demand. Town Manager Justin Longino has been handling complaints in the interim.
► Consider continuation of an interlocal agreement with Mooresville, Davidson, Statesville, and Iredell County that forms the Lake Norman Regional Transportation Commission, which studies and advocates for transportation improvements in Iredell and northern Mecklenburg County. Troutman contributes $5,000 to fund this entity.
► Consider approval of an April 11 hearing to consider a request by the Barium Springs Home for Children to annex a nearly 19-acre narrow parcel in the 300 block of Old Mountain Road. This property is adjacent to South Iredell High School and not part of the main campus of Children’s Hope Alliance. This request is to clear up boundary issues since one-third of the property is within the town’s ETJ and the rest is in the county.
► Consider a request for an economic incentive package for “Project G” by Russ Rogerson of the Iredell Economic Development Corporation.
Consider approval of a resolution to support the current ABC Commission control of alcohol sales in North Carolina. Privatization of alcohol sales would lead to a loss in revenue for Troutman schools and public library and and parks and recreation programs as well as alcohol education and law enforcement funds to local agencies.
► Recognize students from Troutman Middle School.
► Hear reports from the Troutman Fire Department, J. Hoyt Hayes Memorial Troutman Library, and Parks and Recreation.