March 23, 2011

At Whispering Pines, Derry ZIP code wins

New street names and numbers will still go into effect 
at the mobile home village next month. 
Union Leader Correspondent
LONDONDERRY -- Following a lengthy survey process, the majority of Whispering Pines Mobile Home Village residents who responded said they’d rather retain their Derry ZIP code, even though most of their homes are technically located in Londonderry.
At the start of this year, United States Postal Service officials surveyed resi­dents of the 258-unit mobile home park that sits on the Derry/Londonderry border in hopes of resolving what could be a potentially dangerous situation in instances where emergency responders are unable to determine whether they’re needed in Derry or in Londonderry. 
According to Town Assessor Karen Marchant, who shared survey results with town officials during Monday night’s Town Council meeting, just 71 of the mobile home park’s 258 homeowners responded to the survey. Forty of them said they’d prefer to keep their current Derry ZIP code. 
Marchant said most of those residents have a Londonderry street address, though in the wake of the survey results, those addresses will still be considered Derry territory as far as both towns — and the Postal Service — are concerned. 
Just 37 of the park’s units are actually located within the Derry town limits. 
Contacted yesterday afternoon, Tom Rizzo, a spokesman for the Northern New England Division of the U.S. Postal Service, said the survey results leave the postal service with little choice but to abide by the residents’ wishes. “It was quite clear from the survey that these residents prefer to keep things the way they are,” Rizzo said. “Frankly, the decision has been made, and we’re obligated to follow those results.” 
The towns of Londonderry and Derry, along with the state’s 911 program, petitioned the Postal Service last April, in hopes of updating ZIP codes within the mobile home village, and the survey took place during the month of January 2011. 
Town officials in both towns had approved new street names and numbers for Whispering Pines, but opted to hold off on making those new names official until final survey results were revealed. 
Marchant said the new street names and numbers would still become effective on April 20, though all those addresses will retain their Derry ZIP code. 
After April 20, Whispering Pines residents calling 911 will be required to identify themselves using their new addresses, Marchant stressed, noting the new names are taken from different types of trees, such as Douglas and Conifer. This change will at least help alleviate some confusion from emergency responders since the current like-sounding street names pose a challenge. 
“It’s still really confusing right now,” she continued. “We have eight streets up there, all of them (will soon) have the names of trees, so at least when the fire departments hear those names, they have an idea where they’re going.” 

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