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House number plaques donated to Greencastle fire company

Rescuw workers have noticed numerous houses in Antrim Township are poorly marked or unmarked

Rescuw workers have noticed numerous houses in Antrim Township are poorly marked or unmarked

May 02, 2008|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- 124. 862. 11268.

House numbers - every home has one.

But with so many peeling, fading and disappearing across Greencastle, local rescue volunteers warn that if you call 911 without one, your number might just be up.

Greencastle Rescue Hose Co. Chief Kevin Barnes said local rescuers lose precious minutes trying to find unmarked homes, and some day it could mean the difference between life and death.

For years, the volunteer company has sold reflective house numbers to residents, but Barnes said far too many homes in Antrim Township and the Borough of Greencastle remain unmarked or poorly marked.

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"Some house numbers are too small, are hard to read or are hidden by shrubs while others are in disrepair and nines have flipped to be sixes," he said.

To help reduce the cost of the house numbers sold by the rescue hose company, Barnes said Antrim Township donated 300 blank house number plaques to the volunteer company.

Antrim Township Manager Ben Thomas said the plaques were donated as part of a countywide program where municipalities contributed to housing number projects to reduce the cost for residents.

For the cost of reflective numbers, Barnes said residents can purchase one of the green-and-white house number plaques from the rescue hose company.

Barnes said the company has sold about half of the donated plaques, but that many more need to be sold before the problem gets better.

Not just rescue workers have noticed the problem.

Township Supervisor Samuel Miller said he has spent far too much time searching for homes in Greencastle.

"If I had a nickel for every time I had to turn around and go up and down a street looking for a house, I'd be rich," he said.

It is not only problematic to have an unmarked or poorly marked home in Antrim Township; it is illegal.

Thomas said the township supervisors passed an ordinance in 1991 that made house numbers that are at least 3 inches tall a mandatory "duty of each and every homeowner."

While Thomas said the township does not plan to go door to door with citations for unmarked or poorly marked homes, he said it could.

"It is an ordinance, so any violation could be subject to fines and penalties," he said. "However, we are looking for voluntary compliance from residents."

Barnes said it is easy to get one of the reflective house numbers.

Residents of the Borough of Greencastle or Antrim Township may stop by the station on South Washington Street, fill out a form and buy one of the green-and-white reflective house numbers for $10 to $20.

"It's common sense," Barnes said. "House numbers help to speed response times in the event of an emergency and come in handy with delivery people, too."

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