February 21, 2024

County to address 911 signs

Union County Board of Supervisors plan to review and revise the ordinance related to 911 address signs at properties.

Union County is working on assigning a 911 address to the wind turbines located in the northwest corner but have since learned the ordinance requiring new structures to have a 911 address needs updated.

During Monday’s Union County Board of Supervisors meeting, discussion was how to determine a price for the signs that at least meets costs and knowing the signs are installed where needed. In October, Union County Emergency Management Director Jo Duckworth Director said she has started work assigning an address to certain turbines. The 911 signs are needed for emergency crews should they be called to one of the turbines in question.

But for years, Union County has been charging the property owner only $25 a sign and supervisors learned how the cost is much greater. Based on recent purchases, a sign can cost about $26 for the post and up to $8 for the address number. That would be $1 per digit for a four-numbered address. The numbers are placed on both sides of the placard. The cost of the placard was not known. Supervisors were estimating $25 for the placard. Supervisors did not include the cost of labor for installation which is done by the secondary roads department.

“We need to make sure the costs cover the sign,” said supervisor Dennis Hopkins. Supervisor Dennis Brown said he understands the reason to increase the price, but does not want to begin with a dramatic jump in cost.

Supervisors agreed to review the ordinance and expect to make revisions. A public hearing to do that will be scheduled. The county’s ordinance goes back to 1999.

Duckworth, who attended the meeting via telephone, said it’s common for the 911 sign to be part of the permit process for a new septic sewer system during a new home construction. The sign is usually installed later in the construction schedule. It is required for all structures in the county to have a 911 address to make it easier for 911 dispatchers to know where to send the needed emergency service.

In other county news...

Secondary Roads Superintendent Al Hysell said crews are trimming or removing trees along REA Road within Lorimor as a fallen tree earlier this year occured. The road is Farm to Market and the city of Lorimor is financially assisting with the work.

Hysell said snow reports from Saturday’s event were up to 4 inches in some spots of the county. Snow clearing crews noticed that a drop in temperature after snow fall created ice on some portions of roads. Union County used brine on the roads.

John Van Nostrand


An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.