05/06/09 — Road name change request concerns residents

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Road name change request concerns residents

By Steve Herring
Published in News on May 6, 2009 1:46 PM

Residents living along Moye Road in northern Wayne County told commissioners Tuesday morning they had no problem with their road being renamed New Daniels Church Road, but that they did have a problem with the cost, aggravation and inconvenience it would entail.

Members of the New Daniels Chapel Church, who asked for the change, said it would make it easier for people to find their church.

The two sides presented their cases during a 30-minute public hearing before commissioners at their Tuesday session.

The hearing was to have been held last month, but had to be postponed until yesterday because the county had failed to meet the notification deadline. Speakers on both sides of the issues were allowed to speak at that meeting.

County Manager Lee Smith Tuesday said he had received six letters from residents opposed to the change, as well as other comments of support.

Commissioners took no action Tuesday. The issue will be brought back before the board at its next meeting on May 20.

Moye Road is located just northeast of Fremont and is Moye Street inside the town limits. Smith told commissioners that the Fremont Town Board also is considering renaming the street New Daniels Church Road, but only if the county make the change first.

Commissioner J.D. Evans asked county Planning Director Connie Price if there had been any opposition to naming the road Moye Road when the county started naming its roads in 1989.

Price said that had happened before he had joined the county. At that time, the county's fire departments had been asked to help come up with road names, he said.

He noted that it had been known as Moye Street for more than 60 years.

Commissioner Sandra McCullen asked Price whether the church had offered to help residents pay costs associated with an address change.

Evans noted such assistance had never been a requirement for a road name change.

Price said the only cost the church would bear would be $240 for the signs with the new name.

Evans also questioned how much analysis had gone into the Planning Board's consideration of the request.

The board, Price said, had just looked at the information provided by the church. The Planning Board recommended the change, but did not talk to property owners along the road, he said.

Price added that there was no requirement that the property owners be contacted.

"We did use the right procedure," asked Commissioner and Planning Board member Steve Keen.

"Yes," Price said.

Along with the address changes and associated costs, the county would have to change the name for its 911 system, Smith said. That process could take between 30-60 days.

When such name changes occur the county does not contact databases such as Magellan and other GPS companies. It could take the change 24 to 36 months to show up in those databases, Smith said.

"It is in my district and my concern is that is a lot of changes to occur, and not just for the four or five families that live on that road," Commissioner Andy Anderson said.

Anderson said the church had existed at the time the road was named.

Church members Leroy and Frances Ruffin spoke in favor of the change.

Mrs. Ruffin said the church had been on the road since the early 1900s. It was "back in the woods" until it moved closer to the road in about 1984, she said.

She said that the church wanted to work for the community and that people had problems finding the church.

Randy Renfrow told commissioners that he lives "directly beside" the church and had done work or the church.

He said he had spoken to the home and landowners along the road, all of whom oppose the change.

"I have no real problem with the name change other than the cost," he said. "As long as I have been there I haven't seen where there has been a problem with people finding the church."

The church, he said, is easily seen from several directions and are directional signs to the church as well.

Carolyn Castonia said she, too, did not oppose the name change except for the cost.

"But when you have to change your Social Security, IRS, insurance, driver's license, it is just mind boggling," she said.

She also noted that none of the church members live along the road.