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.