By CARL SMITH
The last remaining change-of-address cards for Oktibbeha County residents should be in mailboxes by early next week, county officials said Friday.
Toby Sanford, GIS manager with the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District, said 3,000 address cards were mailed out Friday and the district should be done with its alerts by Monday.
The changes to addresses is the first step in a three-part plan to develop a comprehensive plan for the county. County residents have been receiving new addresses updates in the form of a card along with a picture of their house. The address change portion of the plan was made to ensure there is no confusion or duplication for 911 responders.
“It’s going to be a lot better with the new system. Response time is everything; any second wasted trying to find a location is detrimental to survival,” Marvell Howard, county board of supervisors president, said. “(In the previous county addressing system) there are places in the county with duplicate addresses and road names which have caused problems with emergency responders.”
Howard said in the new addressing system, numbered addresses will be assigned based upon measured distances. For roads running west to east, numbering will begin at the western part of the road running east; for south-to-north roads, the numbering will start from the south. Even-numbered addresses will be on the right side of the south-to-north and west-to-east roads. For every mile, the county will have roughly 1,000 addresses to be assigned by measured distances, he said.
Even though residents are receiving new addresses, mail from their previous address will be forwarded for a year from the date they receive their change-of-address card. Sanford said residents need to go ahead and change any mailbox or road markings to refer to their newly assigned address. The new numberings need to be at least three inches in size and reflective, he said.
Sanford said the GTPDD will now work with AT&T to ensure 911 calls placed will lead first responders to the appropriate address.
Howard said public hearings about the comprehensive plan probably will not occur until the election cycle is over. He said he has received a handful of calls from concerned and confused residents about the change of addresses and the comprehensive plan.
“We understand the reasoning behind loving and living out in the county — we live there, too. We understand county folks are a little more laid back and not looking to have a lot of stringent rules placed on them,” he said. “That’s the mindset of the board of supervisors. They shouldn’t have a lot of stringent rules. We’re not planning on having a lot of restrictions (with the comprehensive plan). That’s the beauty of living out in the county.”
Sanford said if residents have any problems or questions about the county readdressing plan, they can call the GTPDD and officials will fix errors and try to address questions on a call-by-call basis. GTPDD officials can be reached at (662) 324-7860.