After being denied its own ZIP code by the U.S. Postal Service for more than 30 years, Ramsey is getting the next best thing: a post office kiosk inside Coborn's Grocery Store.
The new site will open in February and "offer services currently offered at the existing Anoka Post Office," the city says.
Coborn's will accept mail, sell postage stamps and supplies and mail packages.
Residents have written, petitioned and proposed, but the Postal Service has consistently denied the city's requests for its own ZIP code and post office.
Patti Gates was one of those who wrote, saying that when she moved to Ramsey in 1979, she was told the city would have its own post office. "Thirty-five years later we still don't have our own post office or ZIP code," Gates wrote.
Gates died shortly before the Postal Service agreed to set up the "contract postal unit."
Her husband, Bretton Gates, said it's a shame she didn't get a chance to know her hard work paid off.
"I see it as a tribute to an amazing woman," Gates said.
The city shares the 55303 ZIP code with Anoka, Andover, Nowthen and Oak Grove.
In 2008, Ramsey asked for its own ZIP code because of projected growth. But the request didn't fly. The Postal Service said that over four years, total deliveries in the 55303 area had increased by only about 450 and added that "splitting a ZIP code could be disruptive to service."
Two years later, the city began a new request. But still no luck, even when it revised its plea and asked for an automated postal kiosk.
So in May 2014, after another attempt, the service agreed to establish a "contract postal unit" in Coborn's.
Gates, who regularly shops at Coborn's, noticed an empty area that used to be a bank. "It's the perfect place for it," Gates said. "It's convenient and closer to home."