Rep. Lee Zeldin Hosts Roundtable with Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Regarding Proposal to Create New Zip Code for Flanders, Riverside and Northampton
Flanders, NY - On Saturday, September 17, 2016, Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) hosted a roundtable at the Big Duck in Flanders with Congressman Jason Chaffetz, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and a small group of community leaders invited from the impacted area, regarding a proposal to create a new, unique zip code for the hamlets of Flanders, Riverside, and Northampton, in the Town of Southampton, three hamlets in the Town of Southampton that each currently share the same zip code, 11901, with the nearby Town of Riverhead, which causes a number of issues in the local community.
According to research initiated by the concerned residents of these hamlets, there are currently 18 identical street names and 32 similar street names - and possibly more - that are shared between these Southampton hamlets and Riverhead Town. This causes a number of issues in the local community and makes things very confusing for postal carriers, which leads to mail and packages being delivered to the wrong address, and sometimes even being routed as far away as Flanders, New Jersey. Furthermore, sometimes these packages aren’t able to be delivered, with packages frequently being marked as “return to sender” or “address unknown.”
In August 2015, Congressman Zeldin sent a letter to the Postmaster officially requesting that the hamlets of Flanders, Riverside, and Northampton, be assigned their own new, unique zip code in order to make them distinguishable from each other and from Riverhead Town. The Post Office, which denied the initial request that Congressman Zeldin then appealed, has since been unresponsive.
With the Post Office unresponsive, Congressman Zeldin worked in Congress to secure a legislative proposal to address this issue. In July 2016, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2016, H.R. 5714 was introduced in the House by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman, Congressman Jason Chaffetz. Within this bill, Congressman Zeldin secured language that would mandate the hamlets of Flanders, Riverside, and Northampton, in the Town of Southampton, be assigned a new, unique zip code. The proposal in Section 211 of the bill, which can be found on pages 88-89, states that upon this legislation being signed into law, the Flanders, Northampton, and Riverside communities in the Town of Southampton, New York, will receive a single, unique ZIP code no later than September 30, 2017. This bill was passed out of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on July 12, 2016 and now awaits further action by the House.
The United States Postal Service is under the jurisdiction of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. At today’s round table, Chairman Chaffetz also spoke about another parallel course of action to pursue that could work to get the Postal Service to create this unique zip code.
Congressman Lee Zeldin said, “I thank Chairman Chaffetz for joining us today to hear firsthand from community leaders about the importance of securing a new zip code for Flanders, Northampton and Riverside. The delay of deliveries caused by this issue is not just a nuisance to the local community, but can also greatly impact quality of life. These packages can hold important goods like medications, which are critical for a person's health and well-being. They can also cause major problems for police, first responders, and other emergency personnel, who may arrive at the wrong address due to these shared street names with the same zip code. For residents of these three hamlets, this has been a top priority for several years. I will work closely with them and Chairman Chaffetz to get this fixed.”