County to re-address 911 signage

By BUSTER WOLFE,

The Lamar County Board of Supervisors expect to approve a revised ordinance for addressing and road signage at its next meeting Feb. 5.

The Board considered the ordinance at the meeting last Thursday, Jan. 18, but some people raised questions about the final draft.

“There was actually a motion made to approve it and it almost got done,” County Administrator Joseph “Jody” Waits said. “Questions arose and some people wanted to review it one more time. There is nothing different there than what was already, except to tidy up some language and other things that time has required us to do.”

Lamar County officials have been requesting stricter enforcement of the current addressing ordinance to help first responders locate victims in case of an emergency. Waits said the last few questions were asked about it last week.

“After it came up, I actually went out and put numbers on my house,”  he said, noting that other county officials said they needed to replace or add house numbers. “I made sure that weekend because my granddaughter saw a TV report about the numbers. She said, ‘But we don’t have numbers on our house?’ So I got numbers the next day. She happy that I got that done.”

Lamar County 911 Coordinator Freda Rocker had told supervisors the county needs an ordinance requiring clearly visible house numbers to help first responders.

“The main thing we updated in here is the way we address, instead of going out into the field to address,” she said. “We need an ordinance number. Apparently law enforcement cannot enforce this ordinance for people posting their (house) number unless we have a number.”

Enforcement of the ordinance also came into question because the county ordinances are not numbered.”

“Our ordinances are identified by the English language, not by their numbers,” Waits said. “I have been talking with (County Attorney) Perry (Phillips) about reviewing the ordinances for redundancies and inconsistencies. Step 2 would be to codify them and get them in order. Step 3 would be to just publish them, then anytime an ordinance comes up, it just goes through that vetting process and comes out the other end with a number and everybody is good. It’s daunting in the beginning, but it simplifies everything.”

Lamar County E-9-1-1's Addressing role in this system is to see that every structure in the county has an E-9-1-1 address for the first responders to locate someone in a timely manner.

The current ordinance says an occupant must post the address number at the end of the driveway and on the structure in 3-inch reflective numbers.

Also, if a private road requires a blue sign with white reflective lettering. This is for the victim’s safety for the emergency services to locate them or loved ones during an emergency.