Under a new policy Moffat County commissioners adopted Monday, every homeowner in Moffat County will be required to have his or her address posted where it can be seen from access roads.
The requirement is part of a policy developed to establish a new system for assignment, naming and identification of roads and numerical addresses in Moffat County.
"Two years ago we started looking into this when the state patrol requested we look at the addressing system and how we can correct it," said Moffat County Commissioner Marianna Raftopoulos. "The main concern is when a call comes into 911 a home needs to have its own address so that emergency vehicles can recognize and get to it."
Problems with the current address system include county roads with the same name and residences that receive mail at a highway address but are located on a road off of the highway on subdivided property.
"We had a situation a few years ago where they could not find a home on a subdivision," Raftopoulos said.
Luckily, she said, the call ended up being a false alarm.
Karen Burley, president of the Maybell Ambulance Service, said changes in the law regarding dispatches over scanners have also increased the importance of having an accurate road and address system.
Dispatchers used to tell the Maybell ambulance service to go to the "Jones' place," but this has changed, she said.
"They cannot put the name of a person out over the scanner anymore," she said. "In Maybell, we're going to make everyone put a number on their house."
Although people will be "required" to post their address so it is visible from the road, no penalties were written into the policy for people who do not comply with new requirement.
Raftopoulos said the cost burden should not be significant.
"I would estimate it will cost from $10 to $15 and that might be high," Raftopoulos said. "People need to have an address that is visible so someone driving by can see it."
People need to realize that this policy was written to help people in rural areas, Raftopoulos said.
"It's for their benefit and their safety," she said. "That is the main purpose. It's a safety issue."
Some roads have to be renamed so there are no longer two or more roads in the county with the same name, Raftopoulos said.
"There were some roads where the name had to be changed," she said. "In those cases we asked the residents who live on the road to come up with a name."
With the approval of the policy, Raftopoulos said the county would begin to focus on one area of the county at a time, likely starting with the Maybell area.
In a case where an address must be changed, Raftopoulos said the homeowner would be contacted first.
Burley said it is necessary that homes be given accurate addresses that can be located easily.
"That's where the problems are," Burley said. "When a call comes over the scanner as County Road 15 and they are nowhere near County Road 15."
In other business Monday:
The fire department requested maintenance by County Road and Bridge. No action was taken on the request.
The commissioners approved a request by Jerry Thompson to renew a wheat lease on Thompson Hill.
Newly hired Public Works Director Rich Anderson was introduced to the commissioners and other Moffat County employees.
Tom Skelding gave an update from the Human Resources Department.