Twin Lakes Village Board favors 911 address signs

Twin Lakes village officials discuss 911 address signs Monday, with two examples of signs in the foreground.

Twin Lakes village officials discuss 911 address signs Monday, with two examples of signs in the foreground.

The Twin Lakes Village Board appears to be in favor of pursuing putting a 911 address sign on most occupied properties in the village after discussion of the subject at a Committee of the Whole meeting Monday.

All trustees said they would be in favor of moving forward with the signs. Trustee Kevin Fitzgerald tempered his approval with the statement that he has some reservations. Village President Howard Skinner was absent.

But the timing of whether that project might start next year or later is still somewhat up in the air.

911 signs are made of street sign quality materials. They are placed in uniform locations to aid fire department, emergency medical services and police in locating properties in a hurry. Several nearby towns, including Randall, Salem and Wheatland, already have the signs.

On Monday and during earlier discussion of the topic, Fitzgerald has said he doesn’t feel the signs are needed in all parts of the village and that he objects to their appearance in an application like the village’s congested streetscapes.

“I think they’re ugly as sin when I drive around,” Fitzgerald said.

Other village officials, such as police Chief Adam Grosz and Trustee Jeremy Knoll, who is a village firefighter, have said all homes need to have the signs so identification is easy in emergencies.

“In any residential area, my opinion is that they need signs,” Grosz said. “That’s what’s best for public safety.”

Twin Lakes does present some unique sign placement challenges. The signs typically are placed on  public right of way adjacent to individual properties. But Twin Lakes has areas with private roads and where roads have been laid out on one end of a public right of way. To accommodate these situations, the village may have to pass an ordinance allowing it to place the signs on private property when needed.

Also undecided is how sign placement will be handled for businesses where a grassy area for the typical installation is not available, such as downtown.

The village plans to charge each property owner a onetime fee for the sign and its installation. Village officials have estimated the cost to be about $35 per property. The fee will be added to the property tax bill. That presents a timing issue. Trustees wished to not charge owners of unimproved lots. That could complicate the process of identifying who should have the charge on their tax bill and tax bill info is due to the county by Thanksgiving, said village administrator Jennifer Frederick.

Frederick said she will come back to the board at the regular Nov. 16 meeting with an update and possibly a request for action on the signs.


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