KINNELON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Last week, CBS2 reported on two New Jersey communities with one zip code. Similar addresses in the two towns are leading to major problems for residents.
Now, efforts to eliminate confusion by giving one of the communities their own zip code are being met with opposition.
As CBS2’s Elise Finch reports, since Kinnelon and Butler share the same zip code, dozens of homes have “twin addresses” — complete with the same house number, street name, and zip code.
“I often get mail from this other address that is similar to mine,” Butler resident Paulette Tartaglia says, “and I’m sure they’re getting the same thing at their address.”
The shared zip code and twin addresses have lead to mail mix-ups, credit problems, and longer wait times for emergency services in some cases.
After CBS2 reported on the issue last week, the reaction was so significant that Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen pledged his support, and Senator Bob Menendez is detailing the actions he’s prepared to take.
“We are sending a letter to the Postmaster General of the United States to support Kinnelon’s application for its own zip code,” Menendez said. “There are real life consequences ehre, we need to get the postal service to understand that and if we cant, then we’ll have to find a legislative fix.”
Still, some maintain that legislative action isn’t necessary. The Butler Police Department is responsible for 911 dispatching for both Butler and Kinnelon. Chief Chiro Chimento says wrong address incidents are rare and not related to the shared zip code.
“From an emergency standpoint we are tracking off of geo-mapping, cell phone data information, and we’re in constant communication with the caller if they remain on the line,” Chief Chimento tells CBS2.
Kinnelon’s Police Chief disagrees with Chimento’s assessment.
“We had an issue this summer where we were called to assist Butler with a stabbing call in progress on Kiel Avenue in Butler,” Chief John Schwartz says. “On our way dispatch says we’re redirecting you to the same address in Kinnelon. Two police departments were heading to the wrong address.”
But phone companies are responsible for entering people’s addresses in the 911 database, and people who live in the area say because of the zip code, computer mistakes are still happening.
“Immediately they try to say that my address is Butler and that’s a very important point because my address is Kinnelon,” Kinnelon resident Karen Gazzillo said.
The mayor of Kinnelon has until mid-April to complete the borough’s appeal. The postal service says he will have an answer in June.
CBS2 reports that New Jersey lawmakers acknowledge that Kinnelon does not meet the Postal Service’s criteria for a new zip code, but are asking the postmaster general to make an exception in the interest of public safety.