Rural address system on county’s radar

Ponoka County council has agreed to consider a GPS-based rural addressing system in its upcoming 2010 budget deliberations.

  • Feb. 24, 2010 6:00 a.m.

Emergency crews could soon have another tool to get to county addresses more quickly.

Ponoka County council has agreed to consider a GPS-based rural addressing system in its upcoming 2010 budget deliberations.

“This would allow navigation of emergency vehicles right to the entrance of a property,” explained Justin Babcock, assistant ag fieldman. He said a GPS-based system would address the concerns of ambulance attendants who are not familiar with the Dominion Land Survey, which maps land ownership by land description.

Babcock said a limitation of the legal land description is that while it locates a parcel of land, it doesn’t necessarily pinpoint the access to the landowner’s home.

Cost of the system could range between $225,000 and $315,000 based on preliminary estimates from two businesses. The cost to the county could be mitigated if the cost of lot signs is the responsibility of property owners.

Babcock told council that most of the counties he surveyed cover the cost of “setting up the system and installation of the signs and they bought the signs too.”

“For new residences, the costs associated with rural addrewssing are the responsibility of the developer,” he said. “This could be an additional charge when receiving a development permit.”

CAO Charlie Cutforth said the county’s 9-1-1 dispatcher is tied to a parcel’s legal land description.

To be effective, Reeve Gordon Svenningsen said the county’s emergency service providers would need to commit to installing GPS systems in their vehicles.

Council council will hold budget meetings in March.