By DOUG NURSE www.ajc.com
The U.S. Postal Service is planning to launch a new ZIP code in north Fulton County.
The new ZIP code — 30009 — is being carved out of what was the 30004 ZIP code, which covered most of Alpharetta and most of Milton. Most of the affected addresses are based in Alpharetta, but some are in south-central part of Milton.
People in the newly incorporated city of Milton, out of a sense of local pride and identity, have been pushing the post office to give Milton its own ZIP code. They didn't like having to give their address as Alpharetta when they actually live in Milton. They enlisted the support of U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Roswell).
The new post office will help relieve pressure from the post office on Old Milton Road in Alpharetta, but it might not entirely satisfy residents of Milton."It would be nice if we had our own ZIP code for Milton," Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood said. "I think adding another ZIP code will confuse things even more."
U.S. Postal Service spokesman Michael Miles said the new post office was opened for business reasons, not as a result of people wanting their own ZIP code for identity reasons.
"We've had a lot of growth in that area and that means adding delivery routes, and our building was bursting at the seams," Miles said. "From a business standpoint, we have to do what makes sense for the organization and ultimately for our customers overall."
The postal service is encouraging the 6,000 residences and the 1,300 businesses affected to start using the new ZIP code immediately. Mail bearing the old ZIP code will continue to be delivered so that people can use up old stationery by the July 1, 2009. After that, delivery of correspondence with the old 30004 ZIP code could be delayed.
The new facility will only process mail, and will not sell stamps or offer other postal services.
Lewis Miers of Milton will be among those touched by the change, but he seemed unconcerned.
"It doesn't matter as long as everybody plays by the same rules and uses the same addresses," he said.