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USPS responds to concerns over home delivery

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by Jolene Toves

Guam - The United States Postal Service wants to set the record straight for postal customers with home delivery. The confusion was a result of the issuance of letters from the department to island residents notifying them of their correct location addresses.

According to USPS corporate communications specialist Duke Gonzales they are aware that some customers who received address notifications are seeing villages attached to their addresses that they do not identify with as their home village. As we reported many villages seem to have been eliminated such as Sinajana which is now classified as Hagatna while Piti is now Santa Rita. Mayor Robert Hoffman says this was attributed to maps received from Public Works but the agency's director Carl Dominguez says he and his staff are puzzled by this and wants proof that they provided documentation.

"All of a sudden I have been instructed by the post office to change it to Santa Rita but when I looked at the map of my house of 31 years it clearly says its in Asan/Piti so I would like to ask the post office how they came what documentation they received from DPW that my house is in Santa Rita not in Piti," he said.

Gonzales says the reason behind this is that Guam's zip codes were consolidated back in 2001 from 21 different zip codes down to 13. Effective that date one of the changes made were consolidating Hagatna, Agana Heights, Asan, Sinajana and Mongmong into the 96910 zip code with Hagatna as the city destination. Ordot-Chalan Pago mayor Jesse Gogue says for residents of his village to identify as Hagatna does not make sense, telling KUAM News, "If they are going to incorporate the adjustment of their zip code system to acknowledge the existence of multiple districts we are not the ones who modified the zip code system

"And then when they created all these satellite post offices they added zip codes but they added zip codes based on post offices not based on districts and so now what we need to emphasize is that we have districts," he added.

Gonzales says the upshot of this is that as long as customers use their correct and complete street addressed and their correct zip codes as provided in the letter the USPS processing machines will be able to identify and properly route the mail whether the city is listed as Sinajana or Hagatna. He adds while they prefer residents use addresses exactly as provided there should be no problem with a customer substituting their actual village with the provided correct village as long as the street address and zip code used is the same as provided in the letter.

In the meantime mayors like Agat's Carol Tayama still want answers and a meeting with the USPS because they've been inundated with frustrated constituents. "When this came out right now I was just as angry and you know with what's going on our residents are just as angry as us. The only way we are going to resolve this is have the people in here that are responsible for this," she said.

The Mayors Council of Guam approved a motion to send a letter to Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo outlining their concerns. They are also hoping to hold a special meeting with DPW and the USPS to air out their concerns.

We should note that even with many streets in villages bearing the same name and possibly the same zip code Gonzales states that correct delivery will be made the same way it has always been done by relying on postal employees' local knowledge.
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