Newton County - Most of us get someone else's mail from time to time. Or maybe a delivery person comes to the wrong door. But if you take drive out to a Newton County neighborhood you'll find there is nothing out of the ordinary about these kinds of mix ups.
"I haven't received important mail such as my mortgage holder, bank statements, social security card," said Covington's Roslyn Bush.
She says this address mix up has been going on for 10 years. This community is neat and orderly, but too often trying to get mail or services to the right address is a mess.
This is why it's all so confusing. Ms. Bush lives on Windcrest Terrace. Take a turn and you'll see that the next street is also Windcrest Drive. Keep going and you'll see another Windcrest. Windcrest Keep. And, finally, the last street in this subdivision, and I bet you've guessed it by now, is Windcrest Court.
Ms. Bush shows us a bill she just received for lawn service. It's addressed to Windcrest Court.
"I'm Windcrest Terrace."
It's easy enough to go to the neighbor's house and to hand-deliver the bill to the correct address, but she can't un-do the service she got. She's not even a customer.
Shaking her head, "They treated my yard."
The Fox 5 I-Team caught up to neighbor Albert Harris at his mailbox. We asked if this is a familiar problem.
"Oh, yes. Yes ma'am. Yes, ma'am," he said.
Ms. Bush says even utility companies confuse the addresses, on occasion crediting payment to the wrong account.
Whose fault is this and how can it be fixed? Well, the Fox 5 I-Team first reached out to the US Postal Service. A spokesman tells us that shipping volume has surged in the last five years up more than 13 percent.
Sure there are delivery mistakes made from time to time, but changing the street names would likely solve this whole mess. The federal government can't do that, but Newton County can. If a majority of the neighbors get together, sign a petition and ask for the street names to be changed, it can be done. That's tougher than it sounds though. As inconvenient as all of this is, changing the address on one's deed is inconvenient, too.
Someone with the Newton County chairman's office says the county no longer allows developers to name streets this way because of this kind of confusion.
Many of Roslyn Bush's neighbors tell her they now pay for a PO Box, but she's on a fixed income and doesn't want to do that. So, she's doing something she isn't comfortable doing: She's going paperless. She feels she doesn't have a choice.