Postal Service designates Wardsville a town

But no separate zip code

Wardsville has finally arrived as a destination for your cards, letters and bills, according to the U.S. Postal Service.

The change by the Postal Service allows residents of the town just south of Jefferson City to list Wardsville as the city in which they live on correspondence, rather than the Capital City. However, the zip code will remain 65101.

“Our original intention was to get a new zip code to differentiate from Jefferson City,” said Wardsville city attorney Dave Bandre. “This effort started after some citizens talked to city officials, believing they were charged the incorrect property tax rate for large purchases such as vehicles. We also had some calls from utility providers as to where certain residences were located for franchise tax purposes.”

Said Chris Estes, Cole County assessor: “It’s our understanding that there were concerns that if Wardsville was not listed on mailing addresses then Wardsville would not be able to collect all the taxes they should be able to.

“The thinking was that the money would go to Jefferson City, not Wardsville. We’ve looked into this, and we still haven’t seen any evidence that Wardsville isn’t getting the money they should be getting.”

Cole County Collector Larry Vincent added: “Wardsville has no sales tax. The issue they had was over the portion of state sales tax they get because they are a city. We contacted the state, and officials at the Department of Revenue were aware of the issue. In conversations I had with them, as far as their system identifications, they felt Wardsville was getting the money they were supposed to.”

Vincent added: “The county pays all cities in the county a portion of the road and bridge sales tax. The only way to identify that portion was to identify where all those parcels were located, and that’s what we did.”

Bandre said of the decision to seek the postal change: “It’s part civic pride and part we want our money. We’ve got a good thing going out here, and we’d like to be recognized for it.

“We discussed what our options were. Being a village with no post office, we were limited. So I wrote a letter to the Postal Service and said we wanted our own zip code. They said that was not an option, but would offer a compromise and let us put Wardsville on envelopes with the 65101 zip code.”

Bandre said the city’s board of trustees agreed to take the postal service’s deal.

“It benefits us in a couple of ways,” he said. “It helps landowners, in that Wardsville has good schools which will help property values, and it should avoid any or most errors that could be made with regards to franchise fees, taxes, assessments and, frankly, it will give people in Wardsville pride to say that they are in Wardsville. Why live here and have your address as Jefferson City? It’s something that can’t be quantified, but I think there’s a benefit to it.”

Bandre added that if people continued to address letters for someone in Wardsville, but put Jefferson City 65101, the post office will still deliver it to the Wardsville address.

“Over time, though, all of us will be known as Wardsville,” he said.

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