Commission approves Rave alerts

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Pike County residents will soon be able to have emergency alerts and other county updates sent to their cell phones, landlines and emails.

After months of discussion and deliberation, the Pike County Commission voted unanimously to implement the proposed mass notification system.

The system, provided by Rave Mobile Safety, will cost the county $6,500 a year and will allow for messages to be sent out from multiple county departments.

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Pike County EMA Director Jeanna Barnes proposed the system to the com-mission earlier this year after showing that it would be more expensive to repair one failed siren in Goshen.

Barnes said the system will take a few months to become available to the public, and that the next step is to push for sign-ups.

The county’s approval did not include one portion of the system that would send urgent emergency notices to everyone regardless of whether they’re signed up. Barnes said that would take a few more months to have prepared for the com-mission to decide on. The one-time fee for that addition is $1,500.

The rest of the notifications must be signed up for voluntarily by the resi-dents, so Barnes said it’s urgent to get people signing up as quickly as possible.

The commission also heard concerns from Pike County native Frank Fryer about litter lining the county’s roads.

“I’m here to speak about what I perceive as a major, major litter problem here in Pike County,” Fryer said. “If I was seeking a retirement home, it would af-fect my thinking when I see county roads littered to the extent that they are.”

Fryer asked the commission to consider ways to make Pike County cleaner, whether it be the road crews coming and cleaning before mowing or cracking down on litter by fining people.

“Based on the amount of litter in this county, a lot of revenue needs could be met just by fines for litter,” Fryer said.

Making sure the judicial branch is on board is critical, Fryer said, to ensure that tickets written are being enforced.

The commission discussed the possibilities of putting signs up on the roads, or bringing in trail cameras for enforcement.

In other business, the commission:

• Heard from Roger Fortner with the Alabama Department of Com-merce about the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act. • Approved federal grants that were awarded to the Volunteer Fire-fighters Association, City of Troy Utilities and The Troy Fire Depart-ment.

• Approved a franchising agreement with Mon-Cre Telephone Cooperative.