Thursday, September 29, 2016

Here's What You Need to Know - New 911 Addresses!!!

Postcards informing residents of upcoming changes in their 911
address have begun to arrive in mailboxes across Winston County. Any changes to something as vital as addresses can create uncertainty and turmoil and as a result, rumors and misinformation can become prevalent. WWN has reported detailed information concerning the need for and the processing of the new addressing system since 2013.

The Golden Triangle Planning and Development District (GTPDD) was awarded the contract to complete the 911 project in 2013 after obtaining a $200,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Authority (ARC). The April 2014 storm resulted in delays in the project until this year.

Current 911 addresses in Winston County do not meet national standards. Some examples of address issues that exist with the current system include similar addresses with east and west suffixes that can create confusion for emergency personnel. Inconsistent and confusing addressing can result in delays for emergency services such as fire, ambulance and law enforcement. The new system involves GIS technology and a national standard addressing system. The new addresses are intended to speed emergency responses across the county, Louisville and Noxapater and to provide responders with more information. Officials with GTPDD indicate that updating to a national addressing standard allows for growth and easier city annexation. Residents can expect for the new addresses to be permanent without further changes.

Addressing standards involve a numbering system that measures mileage from west to east and south to north with each mile representing up to 1000 addresses. Sanders used Hwy 14 as an example noting that addresses on Hwy 14 within one mile to two miles of the county line (with Attala) would be addressed as 1000 to 1999). Addresses in the eight to nine mile distance from the county line would be addressed as 8000 to 8999, etc.

In the first phase of notifying the public of the upcoming changes, post cards are currently being mailed to each address with necessary information including a photo of the main residence or structure on the property. Property owners are encouraged to review the data and verify its accuracy. Full information will be provided on the post card. If you find mistakes, indicate the corrections and return the postcard or contact GTPDD by phone using the indicated number. THESE POSTCARDS ARE NOT THE FINAL NOTIFICATION OF ADDRESS CHANGE!!

The post cards are used to resolve any remaining issues or
problems with addressing. Once most issues are resolved, the Post Office will set an effective date for the address changes and mail a letter to all addresses in the county.

These upcoming letters will act as official notification that the address changing process has begun. Property owners can expect this notification from the Post Office in roughly ninety days (near the first of the year).

Once the effective date is set, property owners will have one year to complete any address changes and during that time both addresses will be valid (the old and the new address). Officials indicate that for most mail, the occupant will not have to do anything. Most major companies, especially those that bill, do mass mailings and government agencies are tied to the Post Office’s addressing system and the change will be made automatically over time – well within the one year time allotment. Occupants will need to contact individuals and smaller companies to change their addresses with them.

The following are the basic steps and responsibilities of the property owner/occupant:

1. Upon receipt of the post card from GTPD (currently underway) – review the photo and verify that it is the correct property and fully read the information on the front and back of the card. If you have questions or believe something is in error, contact GTPD at the number provided on the card.

2. Upon receipt of a letter from the Post Office ( this will be 60-90 days from now), you can begin to use the new address. You should notice address changes on bulk mail within 30-60 days and at this point, contact private individuals and entities that may send you mail.

3. Change the addresses on your mailbox and home or place of business to the new numbers.

All addresses are subject to change including the City of Louisville and Noxapater and most areas of the county as well. Residents in the northeast part of the county – (east of Hwy 15 and north of Hwy 14) may not see an address change.