BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) - Even with a map, finding a street address in some New Mexico cities and towns can be next to impossible.
So, last year, the federal government started a pilot program in the state to correct the problems in order to streamline and improve 911 services.
Belen, south of Albuquerque, is one of those cities that was given access to Global Information System software that will make the addresses accurate.
"We've had an instance where the fire department was called, and they call back and say, ‘Hey the street address is repeated. Where's the fire?' " said Steven Tomita, Belen's planning director. "There's other people that have said they're not getting their mail because others on the same street have the same address number …"
So far, the software has found 500 duplicated addresses in Belen, including one that appears on the same street four times. In other spots, odd and even addresses appear on the same side of the street, or the numbers are simply out of sequence.
"You don't have odds and evens on the same side of the road anywhere you go," said Lisa Miller, a Belen zoning officer.
For example, on Orchard Place in Belen, you'll find 4, 5, and 6 on the same side of the street. The only reason people receive the correct mail on that street is largely because the mail carrier knows the neighborhood and who lives where.
Miller uses the federally funded software to identify and fix the addresses screen by screen and block by block.
"They're going to be changing addresses," Miller said. "They're going to have to for fire and safety reasons."
Belen officials hope to correct all of the inaccurate addresses by the end of the year.
But the problem is not just limited to Belen and other New Mexico towns. It is a problem across the country, which the new federal guidelines are supposed to correct.
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