County offices, Rio focus on address discrepancies

RIO GRANDE — The Gallia Engineer’s Office, Rio Grande Village officials and the Gallia 911 Communications Center met Thursday morning to discuss issues with address discrepancies within village limits and to consider ways to confront them.

Village officials previously spoke Aug. 14 about differences in recorded addresses as they felt they were potentially creating problems with late package delivery services and emergency response units. Village officials felt less than 50 individuals had experienced such problems. The village had said that the 911 center’s computer aided dispatch system (CAD) specifically had different addresses than what may have been printed on homes.

According to Gallia 911 Communications Director Sherry Daines, the Gallia 911 system was implemented in 90s. Previously, various response agencies had their own individual numbers. The CAD system made use of address information taken from the Gallia Engineer’s Office.

Village officials had previously been concerned that the address discrepancy problem had been countywide. Daines said to her knowledge the problem had only been found in the Rio Grande area.

According to Gallia Engineer Brett Boothe, the engineer’s office is responsible for officially recognizing addresses across the region. The county reportedly started addressing for the 911 system in the early 90s and utilized electronic distance measuring devices installed in a vehicle, which was considered the best technology of the time. While also changing address numbers, road names were also changed where a road name might have been used multiple times throughout the region. Roads were addressed away from the City of Gallipolis in number and that sometimes conflicted with Ohio Department of Transportation’s straight line mileage. This reportedly did not affect the 911 addressing needs, however.

According to Gallia Emergency Management Agency Deputy Director Tim Miller, when Rio Grande had been readdressed in the past, some residents chose to not change their address numbers.

With the passage of time, advances in technology and changes to homes and properties which might not have been registered with the engineer’s office, differences occur in records, said Boothe. Where an entry drive may have first been placed may have changed on a residence. Distances originally measured with older equipment would be different than those taken with newer equipment. Aerial shots used in earlier addressing efforts in 1977 had distortions due to camera lenses.

“The problem exists in a lot of different regions in the state,” said Boothe. “The trick is determining which addresses may need changed due to need.”

Boothe said if one were to attempt to readdress the entire county, it would mean thousands of people would need to call utility companies, government agencies and more in order to make certain their addresses were correct with the given organization. To his knowledge, the only concerns with address discrepancies recently addressed were in Rio Grande.

In order to overcome location issues, the engineer’s office took part in a location based response system program in 2010. The system would allow use of GPS coordinates to better locate a residence. Various responder agencies across the state have access to the information but potentially not all agencies do given funding and technology needs.

According to Rio Grande Fire Fighter Tim Hemmerick, once address concerns were settled, the village would be placing green signs on homes with appropriate addressing so first responders would be able to find homes more readily.

Boothe said he believed potentially a few more homes needed investigating. Between he, Daines and Hemmerick, they said their respective organizations were on the way to having address concerns rectified.

Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.

By Dean Wright