By Sarah Mansehim
The 911 address changes have finally come to town.
The final phase of the Greenbrier County addressing project has begun, and Lewisburg, Ronceverte and White Sulphur Springs residents have begun receiving letters informing them of their new street addresses.
The letters began going out to Lewisburg residents last week, and many were incredulous about the changes. On social media, residents who lived in downtown Lewisburg said they thought the address changes were intended for rural properties, not those in town. Others demanded that they be reimbursed for the expense of replacing their checks and updating their house numbers. Even others worried that they had mistaken the letter for junk mail and thrown it in the garbage.
The address changes are part of a statewide and national system in which all addresses are being altered to indicate physical location, including which side of the road the home or business is located. For instance, a Court Street address will be measured according to the number of feet the structure is situated from the beginning of the street. Numbers are assigned every 5.28 feet, which yields 1,000 numbers per mile. This interval system is said to give real meaning to addresses, which will help emergency services better serve the community.
Therefore, if a person has a “city-style” address that doesn’t meet the new addressing criteria, they will receive a new address.
Residents in outlying areas of the county have already begun the conversion process, and earlier this year, received letters informing them of their new address. There are no longer any Rural Route or Highway Contract addresses – every road and lane in Greenbrier County now has a name and a street sign identifying it.
All residents receive a letter from Greenbrier County 911 informing them of their new address. Following the receipt of the letter, residents have a period of one year to make changes on any mail, utility bills, drivers licenses and other documents which show their address. Residents are also required to update the numbers on their homes and mailboxes.
People who have post office boxes will not need to change their address, but will still need to change their house number in the event of an emergency.