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County can't change street's name, because it's really in the city

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners decided Monday morning the county can't change the name of a McCook city street, and, like city officials, are reluctant to consider exceptions to the numbering system used to summon emergency personnel.

James and Yanis Helm on Nov. 5 requested the help of county commissioners in their mission to change their address from No. 1 Grove Parkway to Escondido Drive. Yanis, a native of Panama, wants her address to indicate her heritage, she told commissioners.

The Helms' private drive begins (in the county) where the city's Grove Parkway street ends (in the city). There is no county road between the two.

Jim Helm said a major concern is whether emergency personnel can find their home, as a "Google" map does not have the correct location.

Also on Nov. 5, McCook Police Chief Ike Brown told the Helms that the city and county do not use Google maps to locate addresses and locations of those needing help, but he would double-check to ensure that the city's emergency response maps will take emergency personnel to the Helm house.

Brown reported to commissioners Monday morning, "Our system locates them (the Helms) in the right place. Obviously, we can find them."

Brown also said that street names are the responsibility of the city clerk, "and our city clerk is not inclined to change it (from Grove)."

Brown said he can see no valid reason to change the name of the street. Brown told commission chairman Earl McNutt, "You know we turned an awful lot of people down (when they requested personalized addresses), to make a better addressing system."

McNutt anticipates "a big problem" if one request to change an address is granted. "We've been very consistent in the past ... very fair with people," Brown said.

Commissioners questioned whether they even have the authority to change the street's name, because it is inside the city limits.

Brown told commissioners, "We can locate it (the Helm house). That's what's important ... that's what counts. We don't want anyone to slip through the cracks."

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