ROBBINSVILLE, NJ -- After many years, and countless jumps through numerous bureaucratic hoops, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has designated -- 08691 -- as the official zip code of Robbinsille Township. Mayor Dave Fried announced the long-awaited decision Monday morning that makes Robbinsville Township the primary default town for the 08691 zip code. Previously, the five-digit zip code defaulted to Trenton.
"We’ve heard our residents loud and clear regarding their desire to have 'Robbinsville, 08691' be their official postal designation,’’ Fried said. "This is very good news and big step in the right direction."
Led by Administrator Joy Tozzi, the Township first mobilized the zip code effort almost 13 years ago.
During that time, Robbinsville's approximately 14,000 residents have fallen under five different zip codes. Postal addresses for residents and businesses who paid taxes to Robbinsville Township often had the mailing addresses of Trenton, Hightstown, East Windsor or Hamilton.
While all Robbinsville residents and businesses can now simply write "Robbinsville, NJ 08691" on their mailing address immediately, Fried acknowledged that it may take a little while to migrant mailing materials and contact lists.
"It may take some time for businesses to update their mailing lists purchased from the post office, but making Robbinsville the primary holder of 08691 as opposed to Hamilton and/or Trenton was absolutely a battle worth fighting,'" said Fried who reiterated his appreciation for Congressman Chris Smith, Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo and Hamilton Mayor Jeff Martin through the years to fix the zip code conundrum.
In August 2016, Robbinsville filed an official request with the USPS to change its zip code. The request was denied after the USPS implemented a flawed and confusing survey process that left residents, along with local, state and federal officials, angry and confused. In addition to deficiencies in mail delivery service, inaccurate zip codes impact car insurance rates and GPS coordinates, among other factors.
That summer, the USPS issued a township-wide survey asking local residents if they supported a change to the Robbinsville zip code. Even though 53 percent of Robbinsville residents replied to the survey with the majority in support as required by USPS rules, they still denied the request.
Township officials remained focused on the "zip code issue" to stop incidences of missing mail delivered to wrong towns with the same street address. The zip code also was believed to financially impact residents on matters such as car insurance that was calculated based on a Trenton address. Many residents also are listed as a Trenton address on utility bills, and GPS directions often misguide motorists unable to type in "Robbinsville."
In 2018, negotiations with the South Jersey District of the USPS were revived. The conversation then shifted toward Robbinsville being named the "preferred city designation for the zip code 08691."
However, the first attempt at that new compromise floundered when former Hamilton Township Mayor Kelly Yaede refused to sign off on the proposal. Some Hamilton residents and businesses still fall under "Hamilton 08691," which required the Hamilton Township administration approve the change.
The USPS South Jersey District informed Congressman Chris Smiths' office (NJ-4) that Robbinsville's request would be "processed upon receipt of a letter from the Mayor of Hamilton." On February 13, 2020, within weeks of becoming Hamilton's Mayor, Jeff Martin submitted a letter to the USPS supporting Robbinsville as the new primary designate for 08691.
“Being a helpful neighbor, especially at no cost, is an easy thing to do," Martin said. “Hamilton residents in the 08691 zip code should also receive the benefit of lower insurance costs due to the change. We congratulate Robbinsville on their successful journey and wish all the residents of 08691 well.”
"I am happy to see that the USPS has finally responded to the need for Robbinsville to have the proper postal designation," said Smith. "This not only ensures more reliable mail delivery, but can improve insurance rates and boost a sense of community and pride.
"The Postal Service can be resistant to change, and Mayor Fried's tenacity and leadership - along with the hard work of many in Robbinsville including Business Administrator Joy Tozzi - overcame many hurdles bringing us to this historic day for Robbinsville residents," added Smith.
Some homes in Hamilton and Trenton will remain supplemental designations for 08691.
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