Last week, WAMC reported that Senator Charles Schumer had a plan to get the Town of Halfmoon, in Saratoga County, its own ZIP code: "A Town Without ZIP code." Halfmoon, which has 22,000 residents, is split betwen four different ZIP codes. If you live in Halfmoon, Schumer said last Wednesday at Halfmoon Town Hall, "You need to put your address as Clifton Park or Waterford or Mechanicville or Round Lake. The lack of a ZIP code has led to significant confusion, lost revenue, and it even affects emergency response."
Maybe when Senator Schumer fixes Halfmoon's ZIP code problem, he will turn his attention to Hudson's ZIP code problem. Our problem is not that we don't have our own ZIP code, but that we have to share it with Greenport and parts of Livingston, Stockport, and Ghent. It's often the cause for embarrassment, as when a few years ago the man with the wacky scheme to build a device that would silently zap people with a deadly dose of radiation was identified in the media as being from Hudson. (He actually lived on Knitt Road, along the border between Stockport and Ghent.) And there are other problems as well.
Statistics are often gathered and categorized by ZIP code, so it is difficult, if not impossible, to tease out what statistics apply only to the two square miles of Hudson. This is particularly problematic when it comes to sales tax. How much of the tax collected in the 12534 ZIP code is collected in the shops, restaurants, and B&Bs of Hudson and much is collected in the shopping malls and big boxes of Greenport?
The reason always given for why Greenport cannot have its own ZIP code is that there is another Greenport in New York: the village of Greenport in Suffolk County on Long Island. Ironically, although Greenport on Long Island seems to have preempted Greenport in Columbia County when it comes to ZIP codes, the Village of Greenport was incorporated in 1838, one year after the Town of Greenport was formed in 1837. It doesn't seem as though the duplication of names should be an insurmountable problem, but divvying up the sales tax is a problem and one that will grow worse as Greenport continues to allow itself to develop as "the retail hub of Columbia County."
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