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More than 600 could be impacted by ZIP change

COVINGTON -- Newton County residents living south of I-20 with Social Circle addresses may soon have a Covington ZIP code.

"The Postal Service is studying a request from officials associated with the Stanton Springs development to give that area a Covington address. The Postal Service frequently receives requests for changes in ZIP Code boundaries and will consider each on a case-by-case basis, first taking into consideration any possible impact on postal operations," said Postal Service Spokesman Michael Miles.

In this case, officials with Baxter International, set to locate in Stanton Springs, requested a Covington mailing address, said Mort Ewing, member of the Joint Development Authority and former county commissioner. Currently, Stanton Springs has a Social Circle mailing address.

Ewing said, in an effort to honor Baxter's request, the JDA met with the Postal Service and were told a change of address was possible with the majority vote of affected customers.

The Board of Commissioners passed a resolution to complete a survey of those affected and, "We had a very positive response from the public," Ewing said.

The next step is for the Postal Service to mail out surveys to customers within that area.

"There are approximately 616 addresses in this area; the majority of these addresses are residential," Miles said. "Before making a decision on a request, the Postal Service surveys customers in the affected area to get their feedback on the proposed change. Surveys are mailed out to all addresses in the affected area, and if a simple majority of the respondents indicate they are in favor of the proposed change, the change will be implemented. All addresses in the affected area will receive surveys in the coming weeks. If the majority is in favor of the change, it will take effect on July 1."

For nearly two years, carriers who deliver mail to Social Circle addresses have operated out of the Covington Carrier Annex, he said.

Ewing said that Georgia Perimeter College also requested a Covington address as a condition of moving to the area. That was accomplished because although the main highway, Hwy. 11, has a Social Circle address, Cedar Lane, at that time an unpaved road running in front of the school, has a Covington address. Ewing said Baxter officials were emphatic about having a Covington address.

"We've done everything we could to make it happen. Now it's up to the people on the south side of I-20," he said.

District 1 Commissioner John Douglas said he has concerns about the change that would impact the lion's share of the northern part of his district. Douglas said one area, Stanton Springs, may need to change, but not necessarily the entire area.

"We were not the generator of that request but the county commission doesn't have a whole lot of pull with the Post Office. They're a federal agency, obviously, that marches to their own drummer," he said, adding that he may talk to Congressman Paul Broun, R-GA, to see what can be done.

Comments

Del 1 year, 8 months ago

It's kind of sad, changing to a Covington zip. Current residents health insurance, auto and home insurance will go up due to this downgrade. What else is there to say?

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Frustrated 1 year, 8 months ago

Makes one wonder what else Baxter was promised? Why not get their own zipcode? Im sure ole Morty can arrange that too.

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pt3000 1 year, 8 months ago

Baxter is a multibillion dollar company, there has to be a legit reason as to why they want to be a part of Covington and not Social Circle. I don't see how going from Social Circle to Covington is a downgrade it's more a a big upgrade to me. everyone isn't going to be pleased with the outcome of whatever zip code they end up in, but at the end of the day Baxter is bringing a lot of jobs to this area which are badly needed and wanted and if it takes making a small minority unhappy for the better of the entire area then so be it.

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John 1 year, 8 months ago

Baxter may indeed employee a lot of people but a question is how many or what per cent of those employees is expected to come from Newton County residents (those that are expected to pay part of the costs of this new employers). I have read about all these 'executives' tha will becoming adn an average income for employees in the $60K range - this would indicate some specials skills/training and/or education will be required - this is a great unkown at this time. I recall two companies that came to Covington with optimistic projections - one has moved to another state and the other remains here but has yet to achieve the original employement levels originally projected.

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dennistay53 1 year, 8 months ago

I agree with Commissioner Douglas on this one. Baxter should want to get off on the right foot with citizens and taxpayers of Newton County. Putting them through all of these changes they will have to make with a zip code change isn't the way to go. And they have to pay for the stamps and envelopes to vote on this? Just doesn't seem right after the taxpayers of Newton County money going as incentives to Baxter. If any Baxter or County excutives read this i hope they see the need to broker something here that would work for all. Maybe Commissioner Douglas can work something out through Broun here. Like the way Douglas is going to bat for the citizens who voted him in. That's the way all elected officials are supposed to represent.

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eyewitness 1 year, 8 months ago

Thank the good Lord we have John Doulgas. Like him always or not he will fight to save the quality of life of our county and our district. Thank you John also for taking a stand with the board guy against SPLOST language. John also got us the light at Elks Club. John also will preserve minimum lot sizes. Baxter is good enough but we cannot give away the farm for as John (above) says we have seen too many promise too much and deliver none of it or leave town. People please vote NO on this splost early voting this week. We do not want to lose Eastside High School through some opaque and vague legal language and the language of the November 2012 documents leading up to the referendum clearly state there is an "urgent necessity" for a replacement for the high school (meaning Eastside) and employees are now saying the system has planned this some time and employees tried to warn the public but no one listened. Please defeat the SPLOST.

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