Cecil Township wants one ZIP code

February 26, 2013
The exterior of the post office in Lawrence, a village in Cecil Township - Jim McNutt / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

Residents in Muse and Lawrence may have their own ZIP codes, but they are still a part of Cecil Township.

In fact, there are six different ZIP codes in the township, which at times causes confusion among those who are not familiar with the area.

According to the 2010 Census, Cecil Township’s population recently grew by 15.5 percent, and officials believe it’s time for the township to be treated as a single entity rather than six separate communities.

“There’s been a discussion for many years to form a single ZIP code,” said Don Gennuso, township manager. “It’s more an identity issue than anything else.”

Last month, Gennuso, on behalf of the township, sent a letter to the U.S. Postal Service again expressing interest in having one ZIP code for Cecil.

“In that some of the local post offices may be curtailing their hours of operation, the leadership of the township believes that the postal service is capable of developing a better and more cost effective management,” he wrote.

As an example, Gennuso pointed out that Muse residents do not get mail delivered to the door; instead, they have to physically go to the post office. And, he said, Hendersonville recently lost its post office, but service there was picked up by the Canonsburg office.

Tax collector Janet DeFelice said she contacted U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy regarding the situation and he referred her to the postal service, which has been less than receptive.

Postal service spokesman Tad Kelley said Tuesday the postal service is definitely not “entertaining any consolidation” at this time, whether it be for Cecil or any other municipality.

Kelley explained that such an endeavor would involve an array of changes as well as the location of a central mail facility.

“It would be way too costly,” he said.

In the meantime, Kelley said ZIP code designations span decades, going back to how populations grew in communities.

“People take them to mean boundaries. That is just not true,” he stated.

In the 1990s, Peters Township made a request to the postal service to consolidate its eight ZIP codes. It wasn’t until 1999, after surveying residents, that the postal service agreed to reduce ZIP codes in the Peters area to three.

Linda Metz has been with the Observer-Reporter since 2000, covering Washington County courts and politics, as well as the city of Washington. She previously was employed by the Tribune Review. She is a graduate of Point Park College, now a university, in Pittsburgh.

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