An effort to correct addressing problems in the county got some pushback from residents and Montezuma County commissioners Monday.
"I've never had so many angry phone calls on an issue as this," said commissioner Larry Don Suckla. "People have had the same address for 40 years and view them as private property."
The county mapping and planning department is analyzing 12,000 parcels to correct the addresses in the most problematic areas.
During a meeting last week, residents expressed frustration over sudden address changes.
After a discussion,it was decided that commissioners will review any proposal before residents are notified about possible changes.
Doug Roth, a county mapping specialist, and planner Ken Gallegos reported that there are some problem areas regarding addresses.
For example, residents on stretch of County Road 29 have Road P.5 addresses. A neighborhood west of the fairgrounds has one address for eight homes. Incorrect addresses have made it onto property deeds, and many homes are out of sequence, causing problems for emergency services and deliveries.
"We found some homes that were not even on the county tax rolls," Roth said.
How addresses have been assigned to parcels has been inconsistent over the years, he said, leading to nonsensical situations.
"It used to be done through the assessor's office, and an address was often assigned to the middle of a large parcel," Roth said.
Then when the driveway went in off of a different road, the address would be for the wrong road or out of sequence.
Now the county ties addresses to the access of the property, Gallegos said.
"Once a driveway permit is secured, then the address is assigned," he said.
One particular problem are old, large parcels with nothing on them and no evidence or record of a driveway. Planners want to change their addresses to "To Be Determined."
"I can't leave the address, because if somebody does build a house in a different spot, it will change the address," Gallegos said.
Commissioners were hesitant to change addresses and want to review any proposal.
"People have mail, and licenses, and permits tied to their addresses," said commissioner Keenan Ertel. "I'd hate to throw people into a whirlpool and have to change their whole life."
Another issue is that the information might not filter down to the person leasing the land whose relying on the old address for all their personal and business life.
Jay Jackson and Don Bain got letters that their addresses were changed, but they fought it and had them changed back.
"I have a sales tax license, a firearms license tied to my address," Jackson said. "Basically, they were telling me that I had moved."
In the coming months, county planners will submit a report to the commissioners on areas that have the most problematic addresses, and the plan to remedy the situation.