Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Glades 911 Addresses! What's Wrong?

By Donna Storter

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Glades County Commissioners again tabled action
on resolving the county's ongoing street addressing problem. Earlier
this year Commissioner Paul Beck was assigned the task of chairing a
committee to work on the problem and after several months of weekly
meetings, no action is taken and his reports and recommendations to the
Board have been largely been ignored. Glades County is mandated by the
State of Florida to fill this position that monitors and controls the
addressing data that enters the E911 system, and currently that position is
vacant. The data entering the E911 system is programmed to identify the
location of callers requesting public safety services when "911" is dialed
for emergency response.

However, Sprint has reported that some addresses are not correct, and
those may be rejected in the system. The Property Appraiser, the Tax
Collector, Jury Pools, Voting Registration, Code Enforcement, Land Use,
Census Count, etc. also need your correct address. Physical/street
addresses (numbers and quadrant, etc) have previously been assigned by
Glades County personnel who do not have access to the same training and
addressing computer software as the E911 Coordinator. When Sprint
detects an error, the E911 Coordinator is notified and is responsible
for resolving the error. Thus two employees (in separate buildings) have
been working with the E911 assignment though unfortunately, not always
as a team.

January 2005, the Board of Commissioners received four sealed bids
between $60,000 and $90,000 for resolution of the street address
system's problem; the bids were not reviewed until requested by the E911
Coordinator in May 2005. Commissioner Beck was then asked to chair a
committee to examine all the E911 street addressing issues and make
recommendation to the Board of needed action. He determined that
information from the audit and existing computer software are adequate
to resolve the problems if utilized by the properly trained personnel.
Commissioner Beck's latest recommendation, stated in the form of a
motion at last Monday's meeting was: "I would make the motion that we
hire a full time person, the 911 Coordinator who would also be in charge
of addressing. That would be the motion." Chief Financial Clerk Brenda
Choban stated there is $22,000 in the E911 budget for personal services
and the General Fund has budgeted $33,000 for transfer to 911. The
motion died for lack of a second. Though only approximately 11% of the
addresses need corrective action, it will take months to implement all
the necessary changes, whether it is signage, duplication of street
names, inconsistency of sequential numbering, or updating the
Geographical Information System (GIS) maps. The Commissioners expressed
concerns that after the corrective measures are in place, the position
would not continue to require full time services. The Board tabled the
item and will request the presence of Property Appraiser Larry Luckey
who had previously indicated that he would consider working with the
County with this issue once the errors and inaccuracies were resolved.
The Commissioners are well informed of the liability issues, and plan to
resolve this matter at their October 11 meeting.

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