Residents Cry Foul Over New Addresses

After more than seven years of hangups and issues with a state-mandated mapping and addressing project, Marshall County resident John Toth said legal action is the next step toward getting the project completed.

During a special session of the Marshall County Commission on Tuesday, Dallas resident Toth told members about his experience during a recent vacation. Toth said he had his mail put on hold. However, upon returning and picking up his mail, he noticed several letters had a new address – a change he had not been notified of and had not himself made with anyone.

Toth, who said he has been coming to commission meetings for at least five years with complaints about the project, said he found out about the switch upon contacting a company to do work on his property and being informed there was no physical address for his home.

“It is apparent to me that we must not be able to get this done,” he said, adding that the time for conversation has passed. “This is probably going to take two lifetimes to get this done, and quite frankly, the next time I talk about this will be in a court of law.”

The project was introduced in 2004 as a state effort to eliminate duplicate road names and provide emergency responders with more definite locations. The project was made the responsibility of individual counties, with the 911 office in charge of making and mapping the changes.

Marshall County 911 Director Larry Newell, who has handled the project, said Tuesday that much of the delay has been caused by the U.S. Postal Service hub in Pittsburgh, where changes must be approved. He said the person he had been working with at that office was recently let go, and the files have been misplaced.

“I’m basically starting (the Sand Hill area) over again,” he said.

In addition to potential emergency response issues, Newell voiced his own frustration with the project, saying he has received no help from post office officials.

The commission Tuesday also heard from residents in the Williamsburg Farms area of Marshall County, who were upset about the change of street names. The commission tabled the matter until the Feb. 12 meeting in order to investigate further.