A draft of the ZIP code request to be considered by the Lakeland Board of Commissioners is noted below.
This draft will continue to be corrected, updated, and amended until final approval by the Board. U.S. Postal Service policy provides for the request to be submitted to the U.S. Postal Service District Manager.
Comments, suggestions and corrections are welcome, either on the blog, or e-mailing me directly.
This draft will be continually updated and posted on this blog.
SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION FOR CITY OF LAKELAND REQUEST FOR SEPARATE ZIP CODE
This is additional information to support the City of Lakeland request for a specific, exclusive, "community identity" five digit ZIP code for the incorporated area within the City of Lakeland.
1. General Character of the City of Lakeland
Enclosed is the City of Lakeland's Comprehensive Plan which indicates the City of Lakeland is a unique, separate community with demonstrated substantial growth and substantial future growth.
2. City of Lakeland Board of Commissioners Resolution
Enclosed is a copy of the Resolution of the Board of Commissioners of the City of Lakeland's Resolution requesting a specific, exclusive ZIP code for the City of Lakeland.
3. Current ZIP code situation
Although the City of Lakeland has been incorporated for 32 years and is a significant separate, identifiable community, there is not a specific, exclusive, ZIP code for the incorporated area of Lakeland.
Instead, the City of Lakeland shares a ZIP code with a smaller town, and, in spite of repeated requests, Lakeland residents and businesses continue to receive mail addressed to the other City. (However, "Lakeland" is not an acceptable alternative for the other city in ZIP Code 38002).
When we request large mailers (including Shelby County, utilities, cable TV, magazines etc.) to use "Lakeland", we are advised that the U.S. Postal Service has designated the other city as the "preferred" alternative, in spite of the fact that it is a Lakeland address.
100% of the City of Lakeland is within ZIP code 38002.
4. The City of Lakeland is requesting a separate, specific ZIP Code which encompasses the City of Lakeland incorporated area separate from the current ZIP code of 38002.
REASONS FOR A SEPARATE ZIP CODE FOR THE CITY OF LAKELAND
!. The City of Lakeland loses a substantial amount of sales tax revenue to businesses, especially internet businesses, submitting their sales tax revenues to the other city sharing the 38002 ZIP code.
As an example a sample survey of large Lakeland businesses located in Lakeland showed 100% of the businesses were listed as “Arlington” on Whitepages.com, which leads to widespread confusion.
The U.S. Postal Service continues to provide “Arlington” instead of “Lakeland” as the preferred city address to large mailers including such large sales tax payers and mailers as Memphis Light Gas and Water, cellular phone companies, ATT and other phone companies, mail order companies which mistakenly direct that “Arlington" is the preferred address for "Lakeland" addresses and thus submit their sales tax revenue to the City of Arlington rather than the City of Lakeland.
In additional, ATT, Comcast Cable, Memphis Light Gas and Water and Millington Telephone Company all pay franchise fees and many of these fees appear to be going to Arlington rather than Lakeland. In addition, a review of the sales tax receipts shows some cellular phone companies pay no sales tax for Lakeland, so we assume the sales tax are misdirected and not received by the City of Lakeland.
Just recently, an audit by the Shelby County Fire Department indicated that 62 apartments in Lakeland still are mistakenly shown as “Arlington” by Memphis Light Gas and Water, which misdirects fees for fire fees and ambulance fees.
The usual procedure for an internet or mail order business is to ask for a ZIP code. Since the U.S. Postal Service assigns "Arlington" to Lakeland residents, the sales tax is frequently distributed to Arlington rather than Lakeland.
A separate ZIP code for Lakeland will eliminate this problem and result in the fair distribution of franchise fees and sales taxes for the benefit of Lakeland residents.
2. The City of Lakeland loses Hall Income Ta revenues, which is considerable for the City of Lakeland. This means that Lakeland residents who use "Arlington" have the portion of the Hall Income Tax due the City of Lakeland are misdirected and not received by the City of Lakeland.
3. The lack of a ZIP code identified as Lakeland has cost Lakeland residents in insurance and other costs. Just as one example, a member of the Lakeland Board of Commissioners discovered his house was identified as in "Arlington" rather than "Lakeland". He was being charged $300 per year in excess homeowners insurance due to this mistaken identification.
4. The lack of a separate ZIP code for Lakeland is confusing to persons who want to purchase a home in Lakeland, either due to the property tax rate, the excellent Elementary School, amenities, because they wish the protection of Lakeland codes and ordinances which are significantly different than surrounding cities or the county or for other reasons. Due to the lack of a ZIP code, many Lakeland houses are listed as Arlington addresses. If someone wishes to move to Lakeland, this lowers the property values of persons selling Lakeland homes and also may confuse someone who wishes to move to Arlington.
5. GPS location devices have become widespread and are used for emergency response, shipping and other commercial and personal uses.
Due to the lack of a specific ZIP code, “Lakeland” does not even show up on may GPS devices, which could lead to tragic delays in emergency response, as well as costly confusion in commercial and personal use.
6. Lakeland Mayor Scott Carmichael, the Board of Commissioners and the City of Lakeland City Hall is also listed as or receives mail addressed to "Arlington, Tennessee 38002". Obviously all are located in Lakeland, but it creates confusion.
A 440 unit apartment complex in Lakeland is listed as "Arlington" although it is 5 miles from the Arlington City limits. Until recently, the apartment staff answered the phone as “the best apartment complex in Arlington, Tennessee and all addresses were given out as “Arlington, Tennessee”.
This creates safety problems since apartment residents calling for emergency services give their address as "Arlington", leading to tragic delays. The City has had persons who live in Lakeland absolutely insist they live in Arlington because all of their mail is addressed to Arlington, Tennessee.
The City of Lakeland needs its own ZIP code.
7. The latest official population of Lakeland is 10,848, based on a Special Census approved by the State of Tennessee.
In spite of rapid growth, being incorporated for 32 years, and being a specifically identifiable community, Lakeland does not have its own ZIP code and the U.S. Postal Service continues to assign Lakeland residents and businesses as "Arlington, Tennessee 38002", which is a separate identifiable community.
No matter what it says, the U.S. Postal Service must realize the importance of the ZIP code. The City of Lakeland is losing thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars a year due to not being assigned an identifiable ZIP code and the U.S. Postal Service continuing to identify Lakeland residents and businesses with an "Arlington" address.
It is time that the U.S. Postal Service assigns a separate ZIP code to Lakeland. Lakeland's boundaries are "set" by Tennessee Law 1101 and the City of Lakeland is requesting that a separate ZIP code be assigned to Lakeland residents and businesses.