Fairfield Twp. is now a recognized community in the eyes of the U.S. Postal Service.
The thousands of Fairfield Twp. addresses have community names like Hamilton (45011), Fairfield (45014) and West Chester Twp. (45069) as part of their mailing addresses because those communities have their own ZIP codes.
FIRST REPORT: Fairfield Twp. looking for its own postal identity
Fairfield Twp. does not have its own ZIP code, but the United States Postal Service over the past several months has added “Fairfield Twp.” to the thousands of residential and business addresses as a secondary, or alternate, line. This will allow businesses, organizations and governmental entities utilize “Fairfield Twp.” instead of another community name.
This effort was led by Fairfield Twp. Trustee Shannon Hartkemeyer, who said a driving force to get this accomplished was for community identity.
“We are Fairfield Twp. As a community, that’s our community identity. I am proud to be from Fairfield Twp,” Hartkemeyer said. “We have a lot of great surrounding communities, but I think it’s important that we differentiate Fairfield Twp. as its own community and its own entity.”
But besides helping the community further develop its own identity, Hartkemeyer said this change in the USPS address list can prevent extra layers of bureaucracy for residents and business owners.
She said she knows of residents who attempted to purchase property or refinance loans that had hurdles to jump because their mailing address may list Hamilton and Fairfield but tax or other records may list different community name with their address.
“That can add an extra step of complexity when a resident wants go get their financing,” she said.
USPS spokesman David Van Allen not every community can do what Fairfield Twp. did.
“We look at each (request) individually,” he said, explaining that if there were identically named streets with similar or exact street numbers, it would not have been possible.
But the request is common, and the post office will only entertain requests when possible and practical, Van Allen said. He said that “ZIP codes are to help deliver mail, not to help with community identity.”
Businesses and residents who have their mailing address on items such as labels, envelopes and other types of stationary will not have to change it.
“They can still use the same address they’ve all used for years but if they desire to use Fairfield Twp., they can. It’s an option,” Van Allen said.
Hartkemeyer said it will take some time for organizations and local governments to pull from the official postal record, so the changes won’t be immediately noticed or recognized.
“In time, it’s going to start to change and transition,” she said.
RELATED: Liberty Twp. now part of 45069 zip code (Oct. 2013)
Liberty Twp. went through this several years ago as that community was in a time of growth, said Caroline McKinney, the township’s economic development director.
“Liberty Twp. did this years ago and it was to help with community branding,” she said.
And as big business began to consider and open in Liberty Twp., McKinney said that community branding helped foster community engagement and gave residents and business owners a sense of identity and pride.
“I think in general people want their address to reflect the community of where they live,” she said.