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Western county residents feel reconnected

Several hundred phone numbers in western Nevada County got a three-digit shift Tuesday.

For some who live in Big Oak Valley, it was the first step toward being reconnected to the community.

“As of today, we are a part of Nevada County,” area resident Duan Langston said.



Langston was one of several area activists who fought to change their telephone prefixes from Yuba County to Nevada County numbers. He said roughly 400 phone numbers were changed Tuesday, affecting at least 200 people who previously had to pay toll fees when calling Nevada County numbers.

But the larger war is far from over, as Sherry Balow, who spearheaded the effort, and her compatriots are now fighting with the U.S. Postal Service. They want the postal service to change their ZIP code from Smartville’s 95977 to Penn Valley’s 95946.




So far, their wishes have been largely dismissed by the U.S. Postal Service, which said it solved any problems the citizens may have experienced by designating 95977 as “Big Oak Valley” in Nevada County.

The Nevada County Board of Supervisors has voiced support of the residents, as has U.S. Rep. John Doolittle, who sent a letter to the postal service requesting the ZIP code realignment.

It took a lawsuit before the phone company acted, Balow said.

“People want a five-digit zip code that identifies them uniquely with Nevada County,” Langston said.

For some in Big Oak Valley, however, it’s not that big of a deal.

“To me, it is a small thing. I don’t see what advantage it would be to changing (the ZIP code),” area resident Jean Reynolds said. “I pay my taxes to Nevada County, and they know where I am.”


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