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Aug 19, 2015 12:48 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Zeldin Renews New Effort For Zip Codes In Flanders, Riverside And Northampton

U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin announces his new push for new zip codes in the hamlets of Flanders, Riverside and Northampton on Wednesday morning in the community garden outside the David W. Crohan Community Center in Flanders. KYLE CAMPBELL
Aug 19, 2015 1:15 PM

Local officials are renewing a decade-old push for the hamlets of Flanders, Riverside and Northampton to be liberated from 11901—the zip code primarily associated with Riverhead Town.

U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin submitted a formal request this week to U.S. Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan asking that each of the three Southampton Town hamlets be given their own zip codes to eliminate confusion among letter carriers and emergency services personnel—the latter of whom often mistakenly respond to the wrong municipality because some Global Positioning Systems do not recognize addresses in the tri-hamlet area.

Mr. Zeldin announced this initiative at a Wednesday morning press conference, held in the community garden of the David W. Crohan Community Center in Flanders. He was joined by various local officials and community leaders who argued that the new zip codes would also help create a strong community identity in the three blighted hamlets.

In addition to letters and packages ending up on the wrong side of the Peconic River, which separates the two towns, Mr. Zeldin said some letters meant to be delivered to the northwest corner of Southampton Town have been rerouted as far away as Flanders, New Jersey.

“The delay of deliveries caused by this issue is not just a nuisance to the local community, but it can also greatly impact the local quality of life,” he said. “These packages can hold important goods, like medications, which are critical to a person’s health and well-being.”

In recent weeks, residents have also shared stories of ambulances meant for Flanders or Riverside being routed to Riverhead because of GPS issues created by the shared zip code. Mr. Zeldin said Riverhead and the three hamlets have 18 identical street names and at least 32 more streets that have similar names.

Southampton Town Councilwoman Christine Scalera, who spoke during the press conference, said the lack of separate zip codes in the northwest corner of the town has been an issue since before she first entered office in 2012—and, in fact, it’s an issue that has been discussed for a decade.

Ms. Scalera explained that she and her colleagues had been under the impression that a post office was required to apply for a separate zip code; the residents of Flanders, Riverside and Northampton now utilize the Riverhead Post Office. That turns out not to be the case, according to Mr. Zeldin.

“It’s something we are committed to and not just because of practical reasons,” Ms. Scalera said about the latest push. “But also because, as the congressman alluded to, the fact that Flanders, Riverside and Northampton are not a forgotten part of the Hamptons. They are a vital part of Southampton Township.”

Mr. Zeldin explained that the postmaster general has the power to create new zip codes if she deems it necessary, which he believes there is a strong case for based on the concerns he has laid out.

The congressman added that former U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton made a similar request more than 10 years earlier but did not have the letters of support from local officials and community members that he has.

“I’m not aware of there being any response,” he said. “I don’t know how big the inbox is for former Senator Hillary Clinton, but you might have to defer to her team about what the response was for her.”

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Looks like the middle school interns are writing the headlines this month. How can one "renew" a "new effort?"

How nice that Zeldin is doing something, anything in fact, to get his picture in front of us again. Too bad it's not for something worthwhile rather than pandering to those who want to sever all ties with the ghastly Riverhead zip code.
By VOS (1010), WHB on Aug 19, 15 1:51 PM
3 members liked this comment
our government at work-if this weren't so pathetic, it would be funny.
By wmdwjr (74), east hampton on Aug 19, 15 3:02 PM
What does this mean? Just sticking in your snide 2¢ and saying nothing!

I like the idea, and I hope it's not just "electioneering!" We have nothing to do with Riverhead!
By Frank Wheeler (1734), Northampton on Aug 19, 15 6:07 PM
No sewer system, no redevelopment, no new buildings just a zip code. Now when we have statistics of highest crime, or most illegal immigrants we can identify it with a zip code.
With all the huge federal issues we have is a Flanders zip code even in the top one thousand?
By chief1 (2337), southampton on Aug 19, 15 8:45 PM
Wow a new zip code,this will do wonders for this neglected community and pick up some votes.Where was Anna?busy arranging to have Main St. Hampton Bays paved before the election,that should be worth a few votes.and Bridget and Stan Iwonder why they skipped the ZIP photo op.
By watchdog1 (409), Southampton on Aug 20, 15 6:55 AM
No one should be able to upstage Carl Iacone as the biggest proponent of a separate Flanders zip code. Carl worked for years on this project. The New York State Department of Education and The Board of Regents has allowed the Flanders Village Historical Society to use 11902 as its official address since 2008.
By cobb (9), Flanders on Aug 21, 15 6:00 AM
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