By Kayla J. Marsh
HAZLET – Two distinct United States postal zip codes have served township residents for years but officials are hoping to make a change that will allow the township to become a more unified and cohesive municipality.
With one portion of Hazlet being served by a 07734 zip code and the other portion being served by a 07730 zip code, Township Committee members said many have tried to make a change to the current ???situation, but have not been successful.
“This has been brought up for years and no one has really had any success at all,” Committeeman James DiNardo said in a recent interview. “This has been something that the residents have asked for and so we’re trying to move it forward for them.”
Committeewoman Barbara Ronchetti said it wasn’t until 2013 that some progress was made.
“In 2013 when Jim and I took office, when we were campaigning, a lot of the people in the West Keansburg part of town wanted a zip code change, so we started working on it,” she said.
“We went to the post offices, we got petitions signed by the residents of West Keansburg and with the help of Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-Monmouth, Middlesex), we were able to change the name of West Keansburg to Hazlet Township.”
Issues still remained. however, Ronchetti said.
“The zip code of 07734 was still there because the mail was coming out of the Keansburg post office with the 07734 zip code,” she said. “In the meantime all of Hazlet’s mail has been coming out of the Matawan post office with the designated zip code of 07730.”
Despite the redesignation of the West Keansburg section of the township, the governing body desired the municipality to be served by the 07730 zip code.
“So we started to work on this again because we feel if Matawan can handle Hazlet with the 07730 zip code, why can’t Keansburg handle Hazlet with the 07730 designation,” she said. “It just didn’t make any sense if one town can do it and the other can’t.”
According to Ronchetti, the township’s post office at 65 Hazlet Ave. does not do any mailing anymore, strictly offering services like selling stamps and handling packages.
“So we reached back out to Congressman Pallone and we reached out to the Post Master General of New Jersey and he said no, so our next and final step is, we are meeting with the Post Master General of the United States (Jan. 26) in Washington D.C.,” she said.
“We are going down and we have a meeting with him to present our proposal on why we feel that this should happen.”
She said the idea is not to take away the mail from Keansburg and let anyone lose their jobs, just to eliminate the 07734 zip code and deliver 07730 mail to the former West Keansburg section of the township.
“There are many towns that want to do something like this,” Ronchetti said. “We used to, I would say about 20 or 25 years ago, there was a certain section of Hazlet off Florence Avenue with the zip code 07735 and their mail came out of the Keyport post office and that was able to be changed to Hazlet so it has been done in this town before and I’m sure with the help of the Post Master General of the United States we can get this done.”
DiNardo said after years of attempts not working out, he has hope the meeting with the Post Master General of the United States will be a success.
“Hopefully if everything goes right, we’ll be moving forward and finally be able to get the zip code changed,” he said. “We’ve had the success of getting the name changed and now it’s all about getting the zip code changed.”