I just love utilizing the internet - a little evening shopping at Amazon, catching up with friends and family on Facebook, paying my bills online, and Googling various topics just because I find that entertaining.
The most difficult part for me when shopping online is waiting for the package to arrive. I won't pay for the "Expedited Shipping" in most cases, just because it's so costly, but I'm an Amazon Prime Member and I still believe that whatever I order should magically appear on my doorstep within hours - well, really, within minutes. After all, how can we be patient when the "flash sale" will be gone in seconds if we can't order right now. You get the idea.
Since I work with 911 addressing in our county, I oftentimes hear from people who are also waiting for their precious packages to arrive at their door, only to find out that the delivery company couldn't find them. Many times, these people have waited days or even weeks before they call the supplier to inquire why they haven't received their goods.
Numerous times we have found that the delivery wasn't made because there was no street sign at an intersection that led to their home or business.
Now, I've not done a scientific experiment, but I can give an educated guess that we have well more than 300 road names in Madison County. Every road has a beginning intersection, so that means that we have 600 street signs needed for each of those initial intersections. That doesn't take into consideration multiple intersections along a roadway, or any special signs, such as speed limits, caution signs, etc.
Any way you look at it, there are a lot of road signs in our county. Of course, if you have ordered a package and expect delivery, yours could be the most important road sign that day of delivery. And, inevitably, it's missing - or vandalized. (If you have any information concerning the theft of vandalism of a sign in our county, please call Crime Stoppers at (936) 348-3100, remain anonymous and possibly receive reward money for your report.)
When a county road sign is missing or vandalized, our office must use your money - yes, yours as taxpayers' money - to create another sign to replace that one. Take an average county road name - Lone Star Road - everyone loves that one. If the current cost of materials for that one sign is close to $20, and we must replace a post and a cross-bar connector, along with the cross-street sign, this can be at least $55 for materials. If you add time and overhead to get the sign made and put into place, it's quite easy to see nearly $100 going into each sign posted.
Assuming someone contacts our office to report a sign missing and we get that sign made, send to the commissioner of that precinct, and the sign gets posted; there can still be a huge issue why you haven't gotten your priceless purchases delivered.
Do you have an address sign with the numerical address posted on your business or residence? It's actually against the law not to have one posted. It's for your own protection that you do, so that emergency services can reach you in the event of an emergency - and, of course, so your packages can get to the right place. These signs should have a minimum of 4-inch reflective numbers on a non-reflective background. I will be happy to share further guidance with you on posting these signs.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at (936) 348-3810. We can email, fax, or even mail the information to you. We can even make these signs for you for our cost.
So, let's get those packages delivered to the right place, leave county signs where they belong, call Crime Stoppers if you know about someone stealing them, and give emergency services help in finding your location, while we continue to Be Safe Out There.
Shelly Butts is Emergency Management coordinator for Madison County.