By Lissa Capobianco
Town officials have decided to upgrade a reverse 9-1-1 system that could help deliver alerts during emergencies or send wide reminders for important events.
During Monday’s Town Council meeting, all council members voted in approval of the project, which would cost about $15,000 initially and $10,000 a year later. The town’s emergency fund will help pay for the purchase of the Everbridge call system.
Town Manager Garry Brumback said residents will sign-up for the alert system on the town’s website, and they will have the choice to receive messages via different types of media, including text and e-mail. Residents who wish to receive the alerts via landline do not have to sign up online, but if their phone numbers are unlisted, they must register in order to be a part of the system.
Although Town Councilor John Barry thinks the alert system is good news for the public, he said the town should not use it for non-emergencies.
“It’s good to have this option at our disposal, however, I think it should be strictly used for emergency issues,” Barry said.
Town Councilor Dawn Miceli also stressed a similar concern, noting that constant alerts to residents during non-emergencies may annoy them. However, Brumback assured the council and the public that he will use the system with caution, and will approve the alert before a staff member disseminates it to the public.
“We’re not always going to get it right, but we’re going to do the best we can to have a pretty high threshold before we use it,” Brumback said.