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Most homeowners complying with city's numbering ordinance

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Only nine homeowners, so far, have ignored efforts by the city to ensure that every residence in Hudson has address numbers.

Rachel Aldrich, a summer employee of the Public Works Department, has been going house-to-house inspecting residences to make sure they have numbers on them that are visible from the street.

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Aldrich reported to the City Council's Public Works Committee on July 18 that she had visited 2,164 properties as of that date.

She initially found 248 homes that weren't in compliance with a city ordinance requiring residences, businesses and public buildings to have visible address numbers, Aldrich said.

Those homeowners were sent a letter asking them to attach numbers to their houses within 10 days. Of the 248 homeowners to receive letters, 143 complied shortly after, and another 31 homeowners complied after receiving a second letter (this time a certified letter).

Aldrich indicated she was still waiting to see if 32 homeowners would respond to a final letter asking them to bring their residences into compliance, and that time had run out for nine homeowners.

The nine cases in which homeowners ignored three notices from the city were turned over to city compliance officer Dave Krupich, Aldrich said.

"We'll have them come to court and they can explain to the judge why they're not doing this, which to me is kind of stupid," Krupich said in a phone call last Thursday. "Why don't you want your house number up? The fire department has got a little advantage, we can follow the smoke... But if you're having a heart attack, it's going to slow down (emergency responders), and you might end up in deep doo doo."

Krupich also is the city's fire inspector.

Complaints from the city's police, firefighters and emergency medical workers about the lack of numbers on some residences is what prompted the Public Works Department to check all city homes, businesses and public buildings for compliance with the numbering ordinance.

"They might have had them at one time, but due to time, weather or renovations, they have fallen off, faded or been taken off and not replaced," Aldrich said about the buildings lacking visible numbers in her written report to the Public Works Committee.

Chapter 202-4, paragraph T, of the City Code requires all residential, industrial, commercial, school, church and other public buildings in the city to be numbered.

Single-family residences are supposed to be identified with block-style numbers at least three inches high. The ordinance requires that the numbers be a color that contrasts with the color of the house, and be easily visible from the street.

Numbers on businesses and other public buildings must be a minimum of five inches in height.

Aldrich has checked about half the residences in the city to date. She began in the older neighborhoods, where most of the problems were reported.

The city had 3,831 total housing units when the 2000 census was taken. Several hundred residences have been added since then.

Krupich said he is checking commercial buildings to see that they have address numbers at the same time that he completes his annual fire inspections.

Randy Hanson can be reached at rhanson@rivertowns.net

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Randy Hanson
Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.
(715) 426-1066
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