Twin Lakes Village Board discusses 911 signs

A sample 911 address sign.

A sample 911 address sign.

The Twin Lakes Village Board on Monday discussed the topic of whether to pursue 911 signs — small reflective address signs — in the village.

Village administrator Jennifer Frederick said she has for years been hearing from some village staff that the signs would be helpful. Recently, she polled representatives of building inspection, the police department and the fire department and all agreed the signs, typically located at the street end of a property’s driveway, would be helpful.

The idea behind the signs is that they provide an easy to read — even at night — address sign that is located in a spot where everyone knows they should be.

On Monday, most board members thought the signs would be useful in at least some areas of the village. But there seemed to be disagreement on whether universal placement was needed.

The village has about 4,300 parcels. Typically municipalities instituting the signs pay for them with a onetime charge to the property owner’s tax bill. The cost of the signs including installation is estimated at about $35 per sign, Frederick said.

Trustee Thomas Connolly, in anticipation of Monday’s discussion, said he informally polled people around town.

“Everyone I talked to, they didn’t like the idea,” Connolly said. “They’re not happy about it.”

Trustee Kevin Fitzgerald said he felt they could be justified in some more rural and some older or confusing parts of town, but not for every parcel.

But Trustee Jeremy Knoll, a member of the fire department, argued for the signs as an important tool for emergency responders.

“As a resident I hate the look, but on the fire and rescue side, it’s a must,” Knoll said. “I think it’s all or nothing.”

Police Chief Adam Grosz also supported placing the signs.

“Pick out an address and go find it after dark,” Grosz said. “It will open your eyes to how difficult it is.”

The discussion closed with board members asking Frederick and her ad hoc committee of pf/fd/building inspection representatives to give further consideration to what is needed most. They also said hearing public opinion would be useful.

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  1. Public Opinion says:

    While it’s understandable that there would be resistance to the signs, the issue remains. Enabling rescue personal to find houses quicker.

    As a serviceman who goes to anywhere from 2 to 6 homes a day I can attest to finding address’s. Sometimes it just counting by two, odd or even side of the road. Other times it a 5 digit number that leaps by 5 or 10 numbers at a time. But that’s not the main problem. Its homeowners who don’t make their address’s readable from the street. (yes I have and use GPS)

    I’ve gone to homes that have the address on the garage, or over the front door or even on a rock in the yard. Or no address at all where they say they painted the house last year and just didn’t bother to put it back up.

    The bottom line is for those who resist this to decide on a standard that CAN be seen from the street so that in default, rescue personnel and others know where to look. But that just leads to government regulating how you decorate and show your homes address. And nobody wants that.

    So if you want the sign, take it. And if you don’t, (after you take it down and put it in the garage) just make sure your life insurance is paid up so that when the ambulance takes an extra two minutes or more to find your home your family will have something after your dead and gone.

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