GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - A new medical complex is being built off of Hwy. 57 in Gautier, but leaders say it will have an Ocean Springs zip code.
In fact, 1,000 homes and businesses located in Gautier have either Ocean Springs or Vancleave mailing addresses.
The city is preparing to apply with the US Postal Service to change that. The mayor says the difference in zip codes causes confusion for visitors and newcomers, lowers the census population count and hurts economic development.
"We have businesses not listed under the city of Gautier because their address is different. It could be Vancleave, Mississippi and/or Ocean Springs. That's no discredit to the city of Ocean Springs. But if you are in the city limits of the city, you should have that city address. So that's what we want to do going forward," Mayor Gordon Gollott said.
The mayor says many areas in the city that fall under other zip codes were annexed as long as 14 years ago.
In a statement sent to WLOX, USPS Spokesperson Enola C. Rice said in part,
"The Postal Service established ZIP Codes and delivery boundaries to ensure efficient mail delivery and good service. They are not intended to determine town, city, municipal or other identities. ZIP Codes do not always conform to municipal boundaries and often times a delivery area crosses multiple boundaries and counties.
In response to increasing requests for ZIP Code and place name changes, the U. S. Postal Service has developed a uniform process to review these requests. The City of Gautier has been provided with information on how to submit a request. In order to determine if a request can be implemented, requests undergo a careful analysis of the cost and service implications of making the change."