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Mapping solution up in the air

August 11, 2012
The Inter-Mountain

There's still no decision from Elkins City Council on which direction it will go concerning 911 mapping within corporate limits. There are three options, each with a drawback.

The Randolph County Commission has recommended that the entire city be mapped, thus changing every physical address. This notion is one City Council and many residents rejected in the past because of the expense many people would incur making the change on every document that refers to their property.

The city also could choose to do nothing and leave addresses as they are. The problem here is some streets in Elkins have inconsistencies and could present problems to emergency responders in locating certain residents or businesses. By doing nothing, council is ignoring recommendations from the state to update the mapping system, and Elkins could be left behind as the rest of the county moves to the new E911 mapping system.

The whole reason for needing any mapping is to assist emergency responders in attempting to locate a specific address. One issue that has arisen is many streets don't follow a consecutive numbering order. The city's third option comes into play here with a consideration to renumber only those streets. Of course that would come with a cost - about $10,000 to hire a mapping contractor, $5,000 for computer software and an additional $5,400 to pay a temporary employee for verification.

The city's dilemma calls to mind the fairy tale of "The Three Bears." One solution is just too big of an undertaking for everyone who lives or does business in the city. Another is so small, it doesn't really exist. The one right in the middle, the one that should be just right, may not sit well with the city's budget.

Council members plan to continue this discussion at the regular meeting Aug. 16. Maybe some input from residents might help them make a decision.

 
 

 

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