Did you receive more than one dance letter?

In response to the question why did I receive more than one mailing for your dance, we hope this will shed a little light on how our mailing works.

We get our mailing list from two separate sources to try and cover all of the residences in our service area. The first source is from the City of Richland Center Utilities. This list covers all customers who have a Utility bill. The second list is from the County property tax lister. This list is all properties in our area that are on the tax roll. There are a few different ways that we get duplicate or more labels sent to one location. The first is some Utility customers own their property thus they get a tax bill. The utility list is printed by alpha from a to z for two sections of customer routes in the city so we have to compare an a to z list vs. a to z list in the city, than compare that to the tax list a to z in three sections of what we receive from the county. We spend about 20 man hours per year on this process and unfortunately some labels just pass through the cracks. 5 people get a list each and they read off names to do the comparison. A  letter addressed to “Jack  Smith” should have been caught and pulled when compared to “Jack & Jill Smith”  at the same location , but you can easily understand how a duplicate would be sent when  “Jack Smith”  is compared to “Jill Jones & Jack Smith”. There are many variations of how names are listed.

Another way we get multiple letters to one location is property owners who rent houses to someone and pay taxes on the building and also pay utilities. Many times these people use variations of their names that do not align, list the taxes under only one spouses name and the utilities under the other spouses name, listing the property taxes for a business name such as ABC Rentals and than have the utilities in their personal name, having rentals in a business name and their personal house in their proper name, many variations of family trusts, and the list goes on. Also many people who own rental property own multiple parcles of rental property, and will get a tax bill for each one.

Again we do try to weed out duplicates. For example stop lights have an electric meter at each intersection, the DOT gets pulled out. Charter Cable has countless electric meters for power boosters in their system, and the city its self has meters for street lighting. We do cross out 800-900 duplicates each year that do not get sent out. In the end our mailing is always is in a range of within a 150 letter swing of an average set number. The big expense in this flux is the postage as the printer always does an over run of the number of letters we order to insure we do not run out, and both style envelopes are saved to use the following year if there are extras. We have tried to keep a cull list but find it both hard to maintain and have found that some of the duplicates, depending on the situation actually do produce multiple donations from a perceived single location.

Once again we would like to thank you on behalf of our department for your donation and hope you would accept our apology for multiple letters you may have received.

Thank you for visiting our website. It is a work in progress done by people who give extra time above regular training sessions and fire call response to help provide information on both what is happening in the department, provide safety tips, and give people a chance to view the equipment that we have invested in with both tax revenue allocated to us and donations from our annual fundraiser.