BLACKFOOT – Last week, a joint meeting was held between the City of Blackfoot, Bingham County, and the Postal Service regarding the current addressing system in use in the area.
Currently, Blackfoot has three different grids that overlap one another causing some issues with addressing and the county has used both the grid system as well as street names causing some grief for the postal service.
Now, after nearly a week has transpired, Bingham County Public Works Director Dusty Whited approached the conversation with the county commissioners regarding the address markers that are listed in the county ordinances as being required for every addressed piece of property in the county that is not part of an incorporated city or the Fort Hall Reservation. An incorporated city is a town or city that has its own government and elected officials.
In Bingham County Ordinance 7-6-7 (Posting of Address Marker/Sign Required) subsection B, it is stated, “The address marker/sign needs to be located on the house side of the driveway twenty-five feet (25’) from the road centerline back to the property line,” and subsection D states, “Property owners whose address marker/sign is missing, faded, or damaged are required by this chapter to obtain the numbers necessary by contacting the Bingham County Planning and Zoning Office. They will verify the property owner’s address and then the Bingham County Public Works Department will supply the necessary numbers for the address marker/sign at a minimal fee charged to the property owner.”
Address signs aid in the emergency response for first responders and police officers when they are needed at a location. Sheriff Craig Rowland made a statement during the addressing meeting that when he sends officers out to a call, if the information is not clear enough, it is possible to send them to the wrong location or they may not be able to find the correct residence because address markers are not visible, costing time that someone may not have.
In the ordinance, it is listed that noncompliance with the ordinance is subject to a misdemeanor, which is subject to a fine, imposed upon any real property owner failing to comply with or violating any of the provisions of the ordinance.
Both commissioners Jessica Lewis and Whitney Manwaring made comments regarding the enforcement of the ordinance, and expressed interest in using an informative approach rather than a forceful one. They verified that the process would be carried out by the Road and Bridge Department, and they wanted to speak with Planning and Development Director Tiffany Olsen to make sure she is on the same page as the other departments.
Everyone was in agreement that the best option was to educate the public rather than fining residents and will plan for pre-authorizations for purchasing new markers so they can install them following any potential changes that could be brought forth through the addressing committee’s meetings.
The addressing committee will make decisions regarding potential overhaul of the addressing systems in Bingham County and the City of Blackfoot in efforts to create a uniform system so shortcomings and mishaps on emergency response, mail delivery, and other address-involved issues may be avoided.