Address signs for the Upson County “Blue Sign” ordinance are now available for purchase through the local volunteer fire departments, County Commissioner Ralph Ellington and Northside Volunteer Fire Chief Andy Hay announced at a press conference held last week. The county commissioners and the VFDs have been working for some time to have a display ordinance for address numbers in place for the unincorporated areas of the county, noting this would ensure emergency personnel are able to locate the correct address when on a call. The signs are available in two sizes, 6x12 horizontal and 6x18 vertical, costing $6 and $7.25 respectively for the sign and eight numbers total (four on each side of the sign). Signs measuring 6x24 for office buildings or complexes with a range of addresses will also be available through special order.
The ordinance states all homes, businesses, churches, buildings or structures permitted for construction after November 26, 2013 must have the blue reflective sign displayed on the property. Buildings existing prior to that date have the option of using the blue sign or any other type of sign which meets the ordinance requirements of at least three inch white reflective letters and numbers, be displayed on the same side of the road as the structure near the road and be visible from both directions in traffic. Commissioner Ellington also noted if there are several houses located on a private drive, then there should be a sign placed at the road that has the address number of the first house, then a dash and the number of the last house. In addition, each house on the private drive needs to have an address sign posted at their residence.
All structures in the unincorporated areas of the county must comply with the ordinance by January 1, 2015 or face a fine. A first offense will be a fine of $25 and if not in compliance within 10 days, a second offense will cost $50. If after an additional 10 days a sign has still not been put in place, the property owner will be fined $100, which will continue at that amount for each additional offense.
During a press conference held last week, Hay stated none of the VFDs will be calling residents by phone or going door to door to sell the signs as this is to ensure no one will be taken advantage of by a scam. Order forms will be available at each VFD, the Board of Commission office, Upson County Water Department (bill pay office) and the Upson County Building and Zoning office. Once a form is picked up, residents are to fill it out and return with the fee to the VFDs where the signs will be built according to the option chosen on the form. Once completed, members of the VFD will either deliver your sign to your house, or it will be available for pickup at the station. Hay stressed that whoever delivers the sign will be able to identify themselves and the department they are with.
Commissioner Ellington noted this is not a money making venture for the VFDs, as they bought the signs from the county at cost and are selling them for the same amount. However, he noted each department can install your sign for a small fee. The signs do not have holes pre-drilled in them, since there are a variety of ways to display the sign and comply with the ordinance requirements, such as mounting it on a mailbox or on a post in the yard. There is no set height requirement for the signs; they just need to be visible from the street.
“The bottom line is we want to find you,” said Hay. “We want you to put the signs up where we can see them.”
It was also noted during the press conference that while the ordinance is requiring signs for the unincorporated areas of the county, residents in the City of Thomaston and City of Yatesville are also welcome to purchase the signs from the VFDs. Lincoln Park VFD is the only VFD that does not have the signs available for purchase, due to not having enough resources to purchase the signs ahead of time or assemble the signs. Residents who fall under the Lincoln Park VFD jurisdiction are to contact one of the other VFDs for their signs.
To contact your local VFD, call: Northside VFD, 620 Jeff Davis Road, Andy Hay at 706-741-1555, Gary Lutke at 706-975-2488, or Chris Huckaby 706-741-1616; Rock Hill VFD, 79 The Rock Road, Alan Yarbrough at 706-656-8245, or Joann Hamby, 706-975-2153; Salem VFD, 103 L.C. Wonnum Drive, Reuben Holston at 706-656-0746, or Earnest Wilder at 478-954-4263; Thurston VFD, 4188 Crest Highway, Richard Hickmon at 706-656-5961, Wiley Long at 706-741-1040, Ben Gore at 706-601-9178, Bob Brewer at 706-975-6798 or Zack Brewer at 706-601-9945; Yatesville VFD, 87 Childs Avenue, Ronnie Riggins at 706-975-3265, or Billy Lee at 706-741-5275.
Thurston VFD will also be available to take orders and distribute signs at the department on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7 p.m.- 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-12 noon.
Ashley Biles can be reached by calling 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @AshleyBiles1