County to address addressing problems

Matching 911 calls to addresses will be an issue before the Moffat County Planning and Zoning Board tonight.

The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. in the Moffat County Courthouse.

According to Judith Orton, planning clerk, the Moffat County addressing system has become a problem for the emergency 911 system to coordinate. The problem is most prevalent on county roads. In the past, people who receive mail on county roads have taken that address as their physical address even though their house isn't on the county road where they receive mail. When one of these residents would call 911 from their house, the authorities would respond to the mailing address instead of the physical address of the home. Emergency response teams would then have to search for the proper residence.

According to Richard Cain, Moffat County building inspector, it is just a matter of time until there is a real tragedy due to the current system.

"One of these days there is going to be someone who dies before anyone can find them," said Cain. "That is what most people don't understand. It is going to be a bad situation."

The dilemma has grown to the point where it became the subject of a Nov. 16 workshop where county officials and Colorado State Patrol officials tried to find a solution to the problem. The Colorado State Patrol operates the 911 system for the area.

A key issue of the addressing dilemma is whether the county has the authority to require home owners to post addresses on homes or driveways.

Cain advised that the 1994 Uniform Building Code requires all new construction to post the address on the premises. The county is studying enforcement of this regulation before a certificate of occupancy is issued.

Other possible remedies that will be discussed tonight include revising subdivision regulations and requiring the developer to post signs on all subdivision streets. This could be enforced by having the developer post a bond until it is accomplished. Routt County does this for new construction.

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