USPS Postal Service

Advocate file photo

In creating a new city in the southeastern portion of East Baton Rouge Parish, voters also created a bit of confusion for residents long accustomed to receiving mail at a “Baton Rouge” address in what had been an unincorporated area.

The U.S. Post Office, however, said Wednesday it will deliver mail to homes and businesses in St. George regardless of what city is listed on the envelope, provided the ZIP code is correct.

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will impact mail delivery to the new city — just the ZIP code. Residents living within St. George's boundaries won't have to update their mailing addresses once the city is officially incorporated.

"Customers are advised that no changes in their current addresses are required and they need to take no action," said Carol Hunt, a spokesperson with the U.S. Postal Service.

That's because the U.S. Postal Service primarily relies on ZIP codes — not municipal names — to determine where to send mail. While some may trade out "Baton Rouge" for "St. George" on their envelopes, the ZIP Code used will remain the same.

Andrew Murrell, a spokesperson for the incorporation effort, said he hopes that once the city is up and running, residents will happily choose to list St. George as their address.

"You should be proud to put St. George on your envelopes. That's our goal," Murrell said.

Claire Rutland, a supporter of St. George’s incorporation who lives in Inniswold, said she was excited to begin using the new name on her envelopes.

“I feel like it’s the first step toward building our city,” Rutland said. “It’s symbolic.”

But in discussions on the Nextdoor social media app, other residents of the soon-to-be city were less delighted.

“As long as I am alive and kicking, my address will be Baton Rouge,” one user wrote.

And another, beneath a welcome note to the new St. George, wrote, “Never going to write that on my mailing address.”

Warren Coco, the owner of Go-Devil Manufacturers located in the proposed boundaries of St. George, was a bit more apathetic about the idea of changing his business’s address to include the new city.

“I have no reason to change it or not to change it,” said Coco, adding that he’s highly supportive of St. George. “If it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter.”

In Central, which voted to incorporate in 2005, Linda George said she continues to list “Baton Rouge” as her mailing address “out of habit.” She’s lived in the region for 37 years, since long before Central voted to incorporate.

“If you're in another state, and someone asks where you live, you say ‘Baton Rouge,’” she said.

St. George's organizers tested mail deliveries last year to ensure letters would go through.

In March 2018, while visiting South Carolina, a volunteer with the incorporation effort mailed a handful of letters all labeled with the same street address and ZIP code in the proposed St. George area.

Each piece mailed, however, included a different city.

“I took it to the extra-level,” Peggy Gonzales said. Not only did she write "Baton Rouge, LA," "Central, LA," and "St. George, LA,” she also included “Raleigh, LA” — which, of course, doesn’t exist.

All of the letters were correctly delivered, Gonzales said.

She moved out of the St. George area after her home was damaged in the 2016 floods. She now lives just outside the proposed boundaries and inside the Baton Rouge city limits.

But that won’t stop her from writing “St. George” on her mail.

“I don’t really send that much mail, but for Christmas cards, I was thinking of writing 'St. George' on there,” she said. “It's not going to matter anyway.”

Email Blake Paterson at bpaterson@theadvocate.com and follow him on Twitter @blakepater