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2nd zip code issued for San Luis

This city has been issued a second zip code, and the mayor fears the measure by the Postal Service could complicate the delivery of letters and packages.

The U.S. Postal Service in June assigned 85336 as a zip code for physical addresses in San Luis, even though the city does not now have home mail delivery service. 85349 remains as the zip code for mail sent to their boxes at the city’s post office.

Speaking recently to the San Luis City Council, Mayor Gerardo Sanchez said the second code was not adequately publicized by the Postal Service but could also confuse residents.

“When you have to put down one zip code for your post office box and a different one for your physical address, then we could have problems,” he said. “It’s a dramatic change in service that affects San Luis. There are people who receive their medications in the mail, and what is happening is not healthy.”

Rod Spurgeon, Arizona spokesman for the Postal Service, said the agency had to create a second zip code for use by public safety agencies to be able to make more rapid reponses to 911 emergency calls in the city. The process for assigning the number began in February, he said, and was communicated to all postal customers in San Luis by letter.

“We apologize to our customers for any confusion that this may cause,” he said. But “we didn’t have enough ZIP + 4 digits available for the 85349 postal code to assign to nearly 9,000 valid addresses in San Luis for the 911 system.”

Nonetheless Sanchez said the city is asking U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, an Arizona Republican who is vice chairman of the legislative committee that oversees the Postal Service, to intervene to ascertain if the second code is essential.

“We need to be informed, because this affects homes, it affects you if you apply for credit or to verify your identity,” Sanchez said. “We appreciate the (Postal Service) for providing good service, but on this occasion, we need more.”

The 85336 zip code previously had been assigned to nearby Gadsden, but was made inactive when that community’s post office recently closed.

Spurgeon said that residents of both Gadsden and San Luis will continue to use the 85349 zip code for mail delivered to their boxes at the San Luis Post Office.

Meanwhile, the city continues pressing appeals first made to the Postal Service nearly three years ago to start home delivery service in San Luis.

Spurgeon said the Postal Service has no plans at present to change its current mode of mail delivery in San Luis.