First Posted: 1/23/2015
WAVERLY TWP. — After six years of back and forth discussions between the municipality and the United States Postal Service, all residents, with the exception of those who receive their mail via a post office box, have a change of address as of Tuesday, Jan. 20. Whether mail is delivered by carrier from the Clarks Summit or the Dalton post office, the town portion of the address will now read “Waverly Township,” with the zip code remaining the same as before.
The main benefit of the change, according to Township Supervisor Doug Klamp, is the elimination of confusion among emergency personnel.
“In our township,” he said, “a lot of people had a Clarks Summit mailing address, a lot of people had a Dalton mailing address, so when they would call for an ambulance, they would say their address is Dalton, even though they lived in what was then Abington Township. So we wanted the mailing address for everybody in the township to be the same, to reduce the confusion as to where we lived.”
The idea of changing the addresses to read, “Abington Township,” however, presented a problem, as another municipality of the same title exists near Philadelphia. In that area, there are West, South and North Abington townships. Since the majority of the local municipality is comprised of the town of Waverly, officials decided to go with the name “Waverly Township” instead.
Citizens voted on the change in the 2010 general election, passing it by a margin of 86 percent to 14 percent.
According to Klamp, however, after an initial “go-ahead” from the USPS, the agency “changed its mind” on the premise that the switch would cause more trouble than it is worth.
“So for the past four years,” he said, “we’ve been working with the postal service to try to convince them that it would do more good than harm to change the name of the township. And then recently, they put it to the test.”
The results were in the township’s favor, and the address changes were implemented by the USPS.
Although residents do not need to file a Change of Address form with their post office, they should notify their correspondents of the address change. It may take up to 60 days for some large mailers, such as UPS, FedEx, banks and credit card companies, to automatically update their systems to recognize the new addresses. Once these updates occur, however, the old addresses will no longer be recognized as valid.
Klamp said he hears both positive and negative feedback from residents, and believes the “pros” outweigh the “cons.”
“The whole idea is to reduce confusion, which there was a lot of,” he said. “And, of course, there will be confusion with the change-over, but ultimately it will result in less confusion.”