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Genoa City Council OKs spending for alert system

Published: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 10:51 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 11:09 p.m. CDT

GENOA – Genoa residents soon will have something better than outdoor sirens to warn them of looming inclement weather.

After an in-depth conversation about the CodeRED Emergency Communications Network at a council committee of the whole meeting, the Genoa City Council approved spending $5,796 for 14 months of service.

Police Chief Ty Lynch presented a brief video at the committee meeting to explain the notification system.

“It works something like the school district’s Blackboard Connect phone system,” Lynch said. “The system will call cellphones or home phones.”

Lynch said the service can be used to notify residents of weather watches and warnings.

Public Works Director Rich Gentile said it also could be used to let residents know of hydrant flushing or broken water mains, because it can be used to call residents within smaller areas of the city.

Lynch is confident they will find uses for the system.

Mayor Mark Vicary believes it’s a service the city needs.

“We don’t have a system to notify residents of an emergency,” he said.

Fourth Ward Alderman Jay Hanson likes the idea.

“This would resolve the issue of not being able to hear the outdoor sirens,” Hanson said. “I think it’s money well spent.”

Lynch said he found several companies that provide a similar service, but many bill based on usage.

“That could get expensive,” Lynch said. “With this system, we could use it every day to send out a message because we pay one flat rate.”

Lynch said Sycamore and DeKalb have already signed agreements with the service, and the company is planning a media blitz to get residents signed up.

“The system is only good for those who sign up,” Lynch said. “The company will handle the sign-up process.”

Lynch was unsure when the registration process would begin.

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