What county do you live in?
EL JEBEL ” Call it a case of mistaken identity. Or hundreds of cases of mistaken identity.
Residents of the El Jebel area received a letter from their own county government earlier this month misidentifying them as residents of a different county.
Residents of the Sopris Village, Summit Vista and Blue Lake subdivisions, which are part of Eagle County, received a letter from the Eagle County Airport that started off, “Dear Garfield County Homeowner/Resident.”
Oops. Chalk it up to the ongoing confusion which reigns in the central Roaring Fork Valley. Sopris Village, Summit Vista and Blue Lake are part of a greater area known as El Jebel in southwestern Eagle County. Kids from those subdivisions go to the Basalt schools, but they have Carbondale mailing addresses.
It’s the addresses that fooled Eagle County Airport. The administration had 67,000 letters mailed to residents of Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties touting expanded air carrier service this summer.
“The Eagle Board of County Commissioners, on behalf of the Eagle County Airport, would like to invite you, your family, and your friends to travel with us this summer,” the letter said. It was signed by the three county commissioners.
Chris Anderson, the administration manager, said the Denver direct mail firm that handled the mailing used a U.S. Post Office data base. Therefore, residents of Eagle County who have a Carbondale mailing address were misidentified as Garfield County residents because Carbondale is in Garfield County.
There are hundreds of homes in and around the misidentified area. It couldn’t be determined if residents of the El Jebel Mobile Home Park, some of whom use an El Jebel mailing address with the Carbondale ZIP code, were also greeted as Garfield County residents.
“We’re very disappointed that it happened,” Anderson said.
A different data base, such as the county assessors’ records of the three counties, will be used next time to avoid the same mistake, he said. Property tax bills from Eagle County always seem to find county residents, even when they have Carbondale addresses.
Some residents of the Roaring Fork Valley sliver of Eagle County contend they are overlooked by the county government. This may feed that perception.
“From my perspective, we go out of our way to work with El Jebel and Basalt because we’ve been hammered on it so frequently,” said Eagle County Commissioner Arn Menconi, who offered an apology for the misidentification.
Commissioner Tom Stone, who represents the district that includes the Roaring Fork Valley, said it was an unfortunate mistake for a branch of the county government to make.
“I know where Eagle County is,” he said lightheartedly.
He said the mistake was easy to understand, given the Carbondale addresses, but it needs to be fixed in future mailings.
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