New address system causes many problems

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 19, 2003

The transition to the new E-911 addresses has not been as smooth as had been hoped and there are still some bumps in the road.

Residents within the two Troy zip codes received notification about their new addresses in January 2003. However, Tina Jones, Pike County E-911 director, said some residents have said that they did not receive the notices.

"Even if a resident did not receive this notification, we are asking that they please begin using this address immediately," Jones said. "It is the resident's responsibility to notify all correspondents of their new address."

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Banks, Brundidge, Goshen, Glenwood, Luverne and Ramer post offices began using their new addresses in midyear of 2002.

"So resident within these zip codes inside Pike County only have a few months left to get all mail changed to the new addresses," Jones said. "Failure to notify all correspondents of this change in address may result in the return of the mail."

Jones said it has been reported that residents are experiencing difficulty receiving mail once they started using their new addresses.

However following a few guidelines can help. Jones suggested the following:

The word "County" should be spelled out instead of abbreviated, as the automated postal equipment cannot discern abbreviations.

The address must be written properly, for example, 123 County Road 1234 with the city, state and zip code underneath.

Have the house number marked on the mailbox.

Notify all correspondents of the new address.

"With such drastic changes in the addresses within Pike County, it is going to take time for the mail carriers, dispatchers, all emergency response personnel and the citizens of Pike County to learn the new road numbers and address," Jones said.

Some of the country road signs are up, but, in some areas, they are not.

"The Pike County Road Department is working on getting the signs up, but the process is being hindered in some areas due to theft and damage to signs," Jones said. "This theft and damage of signs is not only a crime, it is also costly to the county. And, most importantly, it can prevent someone being located quickly in an emergency situation. Anyone who witnesses the theft or damaging of a road sign is urged to report it."

Not all roads will have the same type sign, Jones said. All paved county roads will have the blue/yellow sings. All county-maintained dirt roads will have a green/white rectangle sign and all private roads, paved or dirt, will have a blue/white rectangle sign showing PR 1234 rather than CR 1234.

"Although the signs have PR on them, the residents on these roads must use the words, 'County Road' in writing or using their address," Jones said. "Eventually all roads will have a sign up."

Jones said it is a requirement that the house number, which is the first set of numbers in the address, be displayed on the mailbox.

"Please keep in mind that emergency services may not come from the same direction as the mail carrier, therefore, the house number should be displayed on both sides of the mailbox," she said. "Also, residents need to know that if their mailbox is not located at their driveway or in front of their home, it is strongly recommended that the house number be displayed either at the driveway and or on the front of the residence.

"The residents must take some responsibility for having their homes and/or driveways marked so they can be located more quickly in the event of an emergency."

The reflective address marker signs are not a requirement, but are recommended, Jones said.

The numbers should be at least three inches in height and preferably made of reflective material.

"Some of the volunteer fire departments in Pike County are selling the reflective address marker signs as a fundraiser," Jones said. "In doing so, it not only assists the departments locate a residence or business quicker in the event of an emergency, but can put at name with the location since most people in the smaller communities know each other."

Anyone interested in purchasing a reflective address marker sign can check with the fire department that covers his or her area may call 670-6600.

Anyone living in a mobile home or building a new house will not already have an address, Jones said.

"We do not address open land or mailboxes, only structures," she said. "If you do not know your new address or are in the process of moving or building, please contact me at 670-6600. The patience and cooperation of the residents of Pike County is greatly appreciated with this inconvenient but necessary change."