Help hired for civic addressing

There are 450 properties in Centre Wellington Township that have no address at all.

That is one of the reas­ons council approved a plan Mon­day to hire plan­ning help on an eight month contract to fix address problems. The money  is included in the 2008 budget.

Councillor Fred Morris said that there are many addres­ses that are identical, and sev­eral areas have similar street names.

Centre Wellington is the latest municipality to undergo changes that have been coming since amalgamation in 1999.

Mayor Joanne Ross-Zuj said, “You can appreciate how difficult it is for emergency ser­vices.”

The recommendation was made by the personnel commit­tee. It heard that police and ambulance personnel are hav­ing diffi­cul­ties with duplication of addres­ses. Township planner Brett Salmon told the committee an additional challenge will be to resolve problems encoun­tered with multiple dwellings that have conflicting street addresses.

He told the com­mittee of the history of an addressing procedure that was cre­ated by the township in 2003-04, which was stymied because of a lack of cash.

Centre Wellington Fire Chief Brad Patton said Monday his volunteer firefighters spend extra time with dispatch to make sure they travel to the cor­rect address. But, he said, “There have been some in­stances …”

He said it is particularly bad when people use cell phon­es to call 9-1-1 because the ad­dress cannot be traced. And, many are newcomers to the township, and they do not know its history, or the names of the former townships. He said they call and state, for example, they are on the Second Line of Centre Well­ington. Technically, there is no such place, but they have never heard of West Garafraxa, or Pilkington, or Nichol and Eramosa.

It could also be a long, drawn out process. In other municipalities, it has taken up to two years. Council will pass a bylaw when the work is completed to create new addresses.