Arundel officials find securing new town zip code not easy

Posted May 17, 2013, at 11:08 a.m.

ARUNDEL, Maine — What some thought would be an easy process to secure a new zip code for the town is not going to be so simple after all, members of the Board of Selectmen said at a May 13 meeting.

The move toward the new zip code was proposed in an effort to give the town its own sense of identity, apart from Kennebunkport, which shares the current zip code. Economic Development Committee member Jen Burrows had proposed the switch a few months back and secured the selectmen’s approval last month. In a previous presentation to the board, Burrows indicated that the process was quite simple and a matter of petitioning the Maine Legislature.

Selectmen said Monday night that upon further examination, it is a much different process than originally thought.

The board would need to write a letter to the United States Postal Service indicating the reasons why a zip code change is necessary, Town Manager Todd Shea said. The USPS would then do a cost analysis to determine how much it would cost to make the change for the town.

“This is a bit of an uphill battle, and it is not going to happen overnight,” Shea said.

Selectmen Chair Velma Jones Hayes said Arundel used to be made up of at least five different zip codes and the mail was processed through several different post offices.

“At least now, we are all under one zip code and one post office even if it is shared with Kennebunkport,” she said.

Residents in attendance said they would like to see a survey done to see if this is something Arundel residents even want. Some residents emphasized the financial burden placed on businesses to have to change letterheads and business cards, while other residents stressed the importance of Arundel having its own identity and its own zip code.

Shea said he has started an online survey for residents.

As of Monday evening, 68 percent of residents who responded were in favor of the zip code change, he said. Shea added that he’d like to find out where more people stand on the issue and is encouraging Arundel residents to visit the town’s website and participate in the online poll.

“We will see where residents stand. We have time,” he said.

“In the meantime, we do want to get the process going,” said Selectman Tom Danylik. “We can always slow it down if residents oppose the change.”

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