SILVER LAKE — Approximately 25 people attended a public hearing Tuesday, Aug. 7, at the Silver Lake Lions Club building, located at 108 N. Harrison St., Silver Lake.
Property owners and interested parties were able to ask questions, make comments and obtain information regarding address changes that will be taking place in the future. This involves changes in addresses from county to town for annexed properties from the year 2000 to present time
Silver Lake Town Marshal Jason McGlennen led the meeting. Some residents questioned why the address changes are taking place now.
“We’ve had issues with police, fire and EMS all driving by houses they should be stopping at or turning the wrong way on some of the streets by the lake because the numbering system is in the opposite direction of what the town is,” McGlennen explained. “We want to try to put everybody on the same page so that the lake addresses will now match the same grid pattern as uptown so that it makes it easier for police and fire units to get to the house they are supposed to get to with no delays.”
“Speaking on the fire department side, when you come down to Pleasant, Dixie, Roosevelt or Edgewater, if you’re not familiar with the area, you’re taking a 50/50 chance on whether you’re turning the right direction,” said Silver Lake Fire Chief John Conley. “For the fire department, if there aren’t flames or smoke showing, it’s a 50/50 guess. If we’re coming for CPR, we’re guessing on which direction to go.”
“You have to remember that we’re local,” said Council Member Phil Shalley. “The people who man the EMS change every day, they’re from Huntington, Fort Wayne, Columbia City. They have no idea. When the name comes in here, a lot of us who are local recognize the name as much as we do the address.”
McGlennen addressed two rumors that have been circulating.
“The first is that we are going to write tickets if you don’t get the addresses on your driver’s license and registration changed immediately. That is not true,” McGlennen assured.
“The other rumor I’ve heard is that we are doing this for tax purposes,” said McGlennen. “That is not true. You’re already paying taxes. This has nothing to do with your tax base. It all has to do with emergency services. We just had this happen again recently – EMS drove by somebody’s house about a month and a half ago and had to turn around and go back. The person needed medical attention. We don’t want this to happen anymore.”
“I will notify the post office, the town and the county of the address changes,” McGlennen told those in attendance. “When I notify the planning commission, they have informed me that they will, in turn, notify GIS, the 911 system and the auditor’s office. They will also forward that information to REMC and NIPSCO.”
McGlennen stated that no street names will be changed. He also informed residents that the post office will continue to deliver mail to the old address for 12 months after the switch is made. McGlennen assured those in attendance that he will notify residents when the change will be taking place.
A complete listing of properties affected by the change is on file and available for examination at the office of the town marshal at 604 N. Jefferson St., Silver Lake, during regular business hours.