More address changes for residents in Stephens County

More address changes for residents in Stephens County
(Source KSWO)
(Source KSWO)

STEPHENS COUNTY, OK (KSWO)- Hundreds of people in Stephens County have had to adjust after their addresses have been changed several times in the few years.
Now the County's Assessor Department is in the process of changing then again because of a new 911 system.

In 2011 the county hired a company to change the addresses but they failed to do it. The job was given to the 911 director. He recently left in May. Although most of the work was done, the county assessor department stepped in to finish the job. The new changes could help save lives  in the county.

As Sheriff of Stephens County Wayne McKinney knows how crucial it is to respond to emergencies fast. Before the new system went into place it was confusing finding some homes in the county.

"Well for some reason or the other some of the areas didn't get mapped properly and that information put into the 911 database so since that occurred its created a snowball affect in certain little parts within the county," said McKinney.

One of those areas was  in northwestern part of the county.

"There are a few houses to the north of ballpark on 10 mile road that wasn't addressed properly. If a 911 call comes up to a location that is not exact," said McKinney.

Stephens County Assessor Dana Buchanan says they are working to clear up the confusion and understands some residents frustration.

"We have already have people that had their address changed two or three times going between the company that was hired and the directors. Nothing has been put in writing and filed," said Buchanan.

Dozens of homeowners in Stephens County still have a 4-digit address, but in the next year that number will change from 4 to 6 digits.

"The six digit address tells them what street is to the north of them.If it runs north or south it tells you what street is to the west of them and at that intersection it gives you how many tenths of a mile it takes to get to your driveway. so there is not any second guessing its all GPS coordinating and dispatch is telling us how important it is to have an exact location," said Buchanan.

The changes will be a be help to first responders.

"Most of us know these roads by their old names so my patrol deputies got the new grid lines and grid numbers down for the new numbering systems for the road but we still like in this town here in central high and parts of Stephens County we put the old name and the gird number on the street sign so we have both of them and that makes it a whole lot easier when you need emergency response," said McKinney.

"Dispatchers need to be able to get to you whether its a fire truck or an ambulance or the police.When you just give them a shortened address they are just trying to figure out where you are at," said Buchanan.

The department is responsible for 8,500 homes in the county. Of that number, 2,600 addresses have not been changed.
If you have any comments or questions visit the Assessors department at the Stephens County Courthouse.

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