By Luke Ferris Staff Reporter
Bath and DeWitt area homeowners may view the address numbers on their homes or mailboxes as a minimal concern in home repairs, but the condition of the numbers can determine the speed of response to an emergency.
“The primary concern we have with police, fire and ambulance responses is always how can we remove any delays to finding somebody’s home when they’re in need of immediate help, said Lt. Brian Traub of the DeWitt Township Police Department. “This is just one facet in that bigger picture.”
DeWitt Township’s Facebook webpage posted earlier this month to update the community on the Clinton County ordinance. The ordinance specifically explains the county requirements of home address numbers.
The ordinance includes making sure numbers are at least three inches tall, visible from the road, two feet above the ground and contrasting with the house colors.
“Every police officer has had to search for a resident that wasn’t adequately numbered,” Traub said. “We’re left basically guessing as to are we at the right place, especially at night time.”
Traub said that the main problems emergency responders find is decorations and plants obstructing the address or the contrast on the coloring of the numbers.
“They don’t think about how that looks at dusk or at nighttime, when they have a dark letter on a dark background,” Traub said.
Director of the Clinton County Equalization Department Barbara Moss said the ordinance has been in place since 1992 and was originally enforced through mail and driving from home to home. But due to the inadequate labor force, enforcement of the ordinance has been difficult.
“We have had pockets of properties where it did take some effort to make the property owners adhere to address ordinance so emergency responders could find them,” Moss said.
Moss said that through today’s technology, citizens can be informed of the ordinance through electronic outlets like Facebook.
In one instance last year, homeowners went to court about changing their address numbers according to Moss.
If citizens want to learn the full requirements of the ordinance, visit the DeWitt Township Facebook page or contact Clinton County offices.