Following lengthy discussions, the Menifee City Council has instructed city staff to request the United States Postal Service change the city’s four ZIP codes default names to one default Menifee name and to take a closer look at the current recycling collection facilities in the city for possible changes.
A public hearing scheduled on the city’s fire fees was canceled indefinitely at the Tuesday, Jan. 17, city council meeting.
The discussion to change the city’s four ZIP code default names into one “Menifee” default name was spurred by a petition being circulated in the city to put the issue on the ballot. The ZIP code name changes have been a controversial issue since 2008 when Menifee became a city. Currently, there are four ZIP codes in the Menifee city limits. They include 92584, 92585, 92586 and 92587.
Whether mail is addressed to any ZIP code in the city, it will reach the recipient intended, according to the Menifee postmaster. Any ZIP code change USPS makes in the Menifee city limits mailing area, the mail will still be defaulted to be delivered in the Sun City, Menifee, Quail Valley, Romoland or Canyon Lake areas within the city.
The city is proposing to change those ZIP code names within the city limits to “Menifee,” and not use the other four area names. To clarify the ZIP code request, if a person sends a letter to someone in Sun City and addresses it to Sun City, 92585, the letter will default to Menifee, 92585. If someone who has always sent a letter to a recipient in Quail Valley, 92587, the letter will default to the Menifee, 92857. Letter writers will not have to changing the addresses in their address books for recipients in Menifee or the other three ZIP codes, according to the USPS.
Menifee Postmaster Shane Seitz, appearing before the council, said, USPS really never looks at the city names; they only look at the ZIP codes and a secondary number that shows to which neighborhood it should be delivered, whether in Menifee, Canyon Lake, Romoland, Quail Valley or Sun City. Some Menifee city limits ZIP codes overlap the “Canyon Lake” area, as well.
David Montgomery, assistant to the Riverside County Assessor, said the name change would not change the individual property taxes levied on Menifee residents.
Basically, any ZIP code name change in the Menifee city limits will not change the USPS delivery of mail to the proper business or residential recipient or property taxes.
“This is a large discussion of not much,” Councilman John Denver said.
A representative from Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors said real estate agents still might be concerned about the names of the locations where new or homes for sale were located, as some locations are preferred over the others.
He called the letters an attempt to “blackmail” him and distort the facts. He said the discussion on the ZIP code name change that night was not being held because of the letters, but to factually review any considered changes and who those changes might possibly affect. He said it was his opinion, not the councils’ that the ZIP code discussion “was much ado about nothing.” A petition by the letter writers, concerning Measure DD, the recall and the ZIP code issue, is circulating in the city, the council said.
The other option to change the ZIP code names in the 100 block of each street would cost the city $15,000. This option was rejected by the council.
The council asked the city manager to prepare a letter for the change to be sent to the USPS asking for the suggested change.
The council then moved to a discussion of the city’s recycling maintenance and operations with a voiced concern about the facilities allegedly drawing the criminal homeless to those locations. It was not a public hearing, but it may become one at a later time.
Currently, there are four recycling collection facilities in Menifee and the Sun City area. They are located at the Stater Brothers Market and Von’s Food and Drug on Sun City Boulevard; the California Ranch Market on state Route 74 and the State Brothers Market on Newport Road.
Three other major stores which recently opened or will be opening soon have applications in for possible recycling collection facilities in what are called “convenience” areas where the state requires some form of recycling collection facility.
Three of the facilities are operated by RePlanet that have attendants and one is operated by Neill’s Recycling at California Ranch Market. A RePlanet spokesman was at the meeting for the discussion.
The recycling centers offer all residents a place to bring their plastic bottles, glass containers and cans to recoup their California refund value fees. Many homeless, low-income residents and nonprofits collect cast off recycles and turn them in the facilities for refund money.
Several council members said they heard from residents and business owners who claimed the current facilities are attracting more and more homeless and those selling drugs and causing a nuisance at the locations. The discussion centered on other ways to way to collect and refund the recyclables that would not encourage homeless gatherings.
The RePlanet representative said the Menifee recycling collection facilities they operated are providing a service mandated by state law and whose operators do not encourage illicit drug dealing around their operations. He said most of those using the facilities are regular tax payers, seeking refunds and caring about the environment.
RePlanet representatives have met with city officials and said they are willing to help the city in solving any problems created by their facilities.
There are several methods of collecting recyclables, the council learned. They include an integrated site configuration with both an attendant and what are called reverse vending machines; the traditional site with an attendant and two roll-off bins; a completely automated reverse vending machine site and a parking lot collection site.
The council requested staff to determine which configuration might be best, with reverse vending machines in particular, to bring the results back to the council and to invite RePlanet and other recycle collection facility representatives to give their input.