The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Henderson County Board Agrees to Rural Addressing

By Sally Day for the Quill

Rural addressing was once again a major topic of discussion at the Henderson County Board meeting, held February 10, 2015. The pros of this subject far outweighed the cons during this meeting. Board member Gary Gibb noted that there had been some negative talk in the community about this, referring to a letter in last week's Quill

Board member Marty Lafary explained that the board had looked into this fourteen years ago. They had spent many hours and some monies attempting to put in place the 9-1-1 system, which began with rural addressing. The board, at that time, learned that it would cost over a hundred thousand dollars, but that there were monies available in grants. A new jail would have to be built for the grant to be accepted. Before a new jail could be built, a sewer system would have to be installed. The monies simply kept building up and the county could not afford it.

The biggest complaint "out in the community" is that people don't want to have to go through the process of changing their addresses.

Board member Bill Knupp said, "The first time a family has an emergency, they will realize the importance of this system."

"We were elected to make tough decisions," noted board member Richard Clifton. "We need to go ahead with this as soon as possible."

The order of the process of obtaining rural addressing is to first pass a resolution, stating that the county is doing this. Next, a contract from the company in charge would be delivered to the county. Then another resolution would have to be passed and all this to be approved, and then it would have to go through the postal service for the change of addresses. Signage of the addresses would be a large expense.

Chief Deputy Donnie Seitz said he had been talking to the Stark County Sheriff's Department. Stark County has implemented a recent rural addressing. In speaking with the Stark County Sheriff, Chief Deputy Seitz learned that their process had gone very smoothly.

Board member Lafary mentioned that he was unaware of where the Chairman of the Board lived, and further, he did not know where more than half the people in the court room lived. He asked other fellow board members if they knew where the Chairman of the Board lived. Some did not.

Board Chairman Albert Renken noted that he is a substitute school bus driver for West Central District and recently there was a very young boy on his bus, who was four and a half. As the bus emptied out, he realized that this little boy would be the last person off the bus. Chairman Renken asked the child where he lived and he couldn't tell him. They made two stops, with Renken asking the four year old if this was where he lived. The little boy thought so, until they got closer. Renken was getting a little anxious, as it was getting closer to dark. Finally, the young boy recognized the family car and they had found the house. "But," he told the board, "it would not have been good had we not found the house."

"It is not mandated yet," (to have rural addressing) said board member Lafary, "but it will be."

The board passed a motion to begin the process of rural addressing.

In an unrelated matter, Tom Doran of Carman, was on hand to request the board, remove a portion of the Zoning Ordinances, which call for a five foot set back, when putting up a fence.

Tom's son, Chris Doran, was also present, as it was Chris who needed the variance.

Chris made the request so others would not have to pay the nearly $300 in fees to ask for a variance from the Zoning Board.

All of Carman is within the legal confines of Henderson County because it is an unincorporated village.

State's Attorney Scott McClintock suggested that it be an either/or situation; either have all fences be built with a five foot set back rule or have none of them.

This issue was tabled until the March meeting.

In other business, the board:

Chairman Albert Renken, present; Terry Myers, present; Bill Knupp, present; Bob Peterson, present; Richard Clifton, present; Tex Stewart, present; Brad Flatt, present; Gary Gibb, present; Curt Eisenmayer, absent; Marty Lafary, present; and Jim Alexander, present.