OXFORD — Oxford is roughly as large as Anniston, and the city’s leaders think it’s time the city had its own postmaster.
The Oxford City Council voted 3-0, with two members absent, in favor of sending letters to Alabama’s two senators and U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks, asking for their help in giving Oxford its own independent post office. City officials say the current post office is considered a branch of the Anniston post office.
“It’s not something that matters a whole lot until you start coming up on a census year,” said Mayor Alton Craft.
Oxford has a post office on Plaza Lane, but city officials say the city lies in as many as six different ZIP codes. City clerk Alan Atkinson said there are some business addresses on the Oxford end of Veterans Memorial Parkway, among other locations, that have Anniston mailing addresses.
Craft said he’s worried that the address overlap could cost the city some population in the 2020 Census. Oxford is officially Calhoun County’s second-largest city, but just barely. Census estimates from 2018 give the city 21,161 residents compared to Anniston’s 21,569.
It’s unclear whether the creation of an Oxford postmaster would fix the city’s address-overlap problem, though city leaders seem to feel neglected by the postal-branch situation. In their letter to the Congressional delegation, council members note that smaller communities, including Eastaboga and Bynum, have their own post offices.
This isn’t the first time the city has requested a split between the Anniston and Oxford post offices. Craft said mayor Leon Smith made a similar request in the 1990s. A 1979 article in The Anniston Star quotes then-mayor B.A. Adams saying he’d “been trying since 1971” to get a postmaster for the city.
The letter was one of several items the council quickly disposed of in a Tuesday evening agenda that also included several liens against nuisance properties.
Council members also discussed moving their July 23 meeting, because it coincides with a citywide referendum vote on Sunday alcohol sales. City staff suggested moving the council meeting to the morning of July 29.