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.