Addresses on many Columbia County businesses and rural homes are not displayed prominently enough, Columbia County officials said at a Fire and Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board meeting Thursday.
The county's Geographic Information Systems Department is working out some inconsistencies in address numbers to make it easier for emergency responders to find homes and businesses.
But officials say finding homes in the county's rural areas - where homes are farther apart and have longer driveways than in the Martinez-Evans area - is difficult because not all properties are properly marked with the address.
"The (emergency) vehicles are constantly having problems in some areas of the county, especially in mobile home parks, in finding certain homes," said Pam Tucker, the county's Emergency Services director. "Addressing is a big issue with us."
The county passed an ordinance on addressing in 2000 that residential properties are required to have address numbers at least four inches tall displayed against a contrasting background on a fence, post, wall, mailbox or other structure at a height of 4 feet at the driveway entrance. Homes not in subdivisions also must have the house number posted on the home near the front door, the ordinance states.
Jeff Browning, the county's Planning and Development Services Division director, said many businesses, especially those along Washington Road, are difficult to find because they do not have properly posted address numbers.
"The majority of the businesses either are not posting them or they are not visible," Browning said.
The ordinance requires businesses to post at least four-inch numbers at the street and on their building.
"It's inconvenient for everybody, but it's critical for the emergency responders," Tucker said.
In other action at the meeting, Mark Chostner, the county's Facility Planning and Construction manager, said he hopes the four temporary fire stations that went operational Jan. 1 will soon be replaced by permanent buildings.
"They are not built yet, but they are headed our way," Chostner said.
The new fire stations will replace temporary buildings at 1646 Clary Cut Road in Harlem, 480 Sugarcreek Drive in Grovetown, 6870 Cobbham Road in Appling and 1090 Old Louisville Road in Grovetown.
Construction plans for the four buildings, which are slated to be built simultaneously, are going through the permitting stage through several county departments. Chostner said the project should go out to bid later this month.
He said construction is expected to start in September on the project, which will take an estimated 10 months.
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