By Taelor Rye
When an emergency strikes, it is important to contact the appropriate services for assistance. Commonly, people dial 911 for police, fire or medical help, and emergency responders quickly make their way to the scene. However, many homes do not have clearly listed house numbers, causing service teams to take longer than necessary to arrive.
Currently, according to representatives from Dodge/Wilcox E911, Dodge County does not have any specific ordinances regarding 911 addressing or listing house numbers. However, Eastman does have ordinances concerning the matter.
Article II, § 8-23 of the Eastman City Code states, “It shall be the duty of the owners and occupants of every house, building and lot in the city to have placed thereon, in a place visible from the street, figures at least three inches high, showing the number of the house, lot or building. Such figures shall be neatly displayed on permanent material such as wood, aluminum, metal or plastic.”
One of the most common places that house numbers are displayed are on mailboxes, as the section acknowledges: “It shall also be permissible to place such figures on mailboxes so that such numbers will be easily visible on either side of the inhabitant’s mailbox. Such figures shall also be placed in a visible location on the front of each home or business or on a sign in each yard.”
While placing stickers on one’s mailbox seems easy enough, many residents still do not have house numbers clearly listed.
According to §8-24, a fine of no more than $5.00 each day shall be imposed to “any person, firm or corporation failing to so number any house, building or other structure occupied by him” after the city receives notice of the failure to comply.
However, Eastman city clerk Ivelyn Lampkin recalls, “We do have an ordinance, but we’ve never imposed it. We’ve never enforced it.”
Of course, working to enforce a mandate such as this can be tedious. Going house by house to see if the residents at each address clearly list their respective house numbers may take time away from more pressing legal issues at hand, and many may feel that it is not the obligation of law enforcement officers to notify every person in the city to label his or her mailbox. Instead, this issue may be one of personal responsibility.
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