On The Road To Enhanced 911 In County

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The path to a county-wide enhanced 911 system is a long and winding one.

"We've been working on it all summer, starting in Pine and coming down this way," said Mariano Gonzalez, deputy director of Gila County's Department of Emergency Services, which oversees the project.

The end is not yet in sight, but a schedule of meetings in neighborhoods involved in the project will be completed today.

Larry Dorame, county rural addressing analyst, will be at the meetings to talk to the residents about when and how the process will take place, Gonzalez said.

They are tackling the project by regions, with each region designated by its postal (ZIP) code, Dorame said.

The size of the Payson (85541) region made the process longer than it will be in smaller areas, such as Tonto Basin, Young and Roosevelt, he said.

Officials are facing problems beyond size. "Various sections of roads were never named and others duplicate names in the regions," Gonzalez said.

He said officials expect to be finished with the first part of the project -- naming roads without names and taking care of duplication problems -- by the end of February. Assigning addresses is ongoing, he said.

The work will eventually result in a digitized base map for all of the county, Gonzalez said.

He expects the county's initial work -- naming roads, assigning addresses and checking telephone numbers -- to be complete by August 2004. The project then will be turned over to Qwest to do a comparison with its data, which could take one to two years, he said.

For more information call (800) 304-4452, extension 8767 for Gonzalez and 8510 for Dorame.

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