Supes discuss county street name changes
by Paisley Boston
Mar 11, 2014 | 990 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bolivar County Supervisor Preston Billings said he is fighting hard to get a street name changed in Mound Bayou.

"We have a situation where a family wants the name changed on a street. I promised my constituents that whenever they brought me a bone I would bring it to members of the board to get it resolved," said Billings.

According to Billings, a family has contacted him that desires to have a street named changed in honor of one their oldest living relatives.

"This lady is turning 90-years-old soon and they would like to have the name of the street that she has lived on for 42 years named after her. She is the matriarch of this particular family and they would like her legacy to be permanently represented on the street where she raised 11 children and 25 grandchildren," he added.

The current name of the street is South Lane Road and the family is requesting for the street to be renamed Annie Bell Woodley Road by April 15.

Billings said family members are in the process of having individuals who live on that street sign a petition showing their support of their request.

"Since I have been in this position, I have not been involved with getting a street name changed. You just don’t up and change the name of streets without contacting the proper entities. I want all of my constituents to understand that I don’t have the power to change street names," he continued.

Supervisor Andrew Williams said he agrees with Billings.

"I don’t know all the exact procedures for getting a street name changed because every municipality has its own rules. In Bolivar County, all of the landowners adjacent to the street must be notified and agree to it. If these changes come into affect, then a person's 9-1-1 address changes because the person's physical address changes," said Williams.

"You would also have to have a petition with the signature of all of the land owners that the street will affect. You would pretty much have to re-identify all of your property," he added.

Williams said he knows the hardships and difficulties that come along with changing street names because he resides on a street that has three names.

"My address is not even in the 9-1-1 system because it is so messed up. If emergency personnel did not know me, then they would not know how to find me in case of an emergency," continued Williams.

He also said if a street name is changed then it should be named after an individual who has served well in the community and made notable contributions.

"A street should be named after a person that has done a lot of service in the community such as Martin Luther King Jr. or Obama – these are people who have greatly impacted the community. We shouldn’t be pulling names out of a hat and naming streets after folks," he continued.

"I suggest that a person names their property and not their street. I have four acres of property and I named it Williamsville – if they own some land then they should just name that," added Williams.

According to Williams, creditors are not favorable of individuals who move frequently and this may cause problems with them as well.

"It is really a difficult process and it should be something that is thoroughly thought out. Creditors want you to have lived at a certain address for a certain amount of years to determine whether or not you are credible but if your address is changed, then you will have to go through the process of explaining why and this could disqualify you," he said.

"It is way more to it then you think," added Williams.

According to County Administrator Will Hooker the authority to change a street name rests within the board of supervisors.

"Before getting the name of a street changed, a person must make a petition to the board. The board has to vet it," said Hooker.

Supervisor Donny Whitten said he does not advise changing of the street name because it causes too many problems and the board has not explored all entities involved in the process.