Mississippi County news
CHARLESTON -- An automated phone alert system could be a benefit for Mississippi County residents.
County Clerk Junior DeLay said during the regular County Commission on Thursday that a representative from the CodeRED Rapid Emergency Communication Service will demonstrate their service for him Tuesday.
DeLay said the automatic call generating service uses a database of phone numbers within a specific geographic area.
The system, which can generate up to 1,000 calls per minute, can be activated through a Web site by highlighting areas on a map, DeLay said. A variety of automated voice messages can be sent, such as tornado warnings, winter storms advisories and boil water orders.
The cost of the service is based on population, according to DeLay. With a population of approximately 13,500, the cost for Mississippi County would be about $7,500 per year, he said.
Officials discussed the possibility that the cost could be shared by the county's school districts as the service would be useful for advising parents when school was called off due to icy roads.
"It doesn't sound like a bad idea," Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg said.
In other business during Thursday's meeting, commissioners agreed once again that the county road and bridge department needs to set their priorities, focusing their efforts on roads people live on and school bus routes.
Blumenberg said the condition of gravel roads is hard to notice until it rains.
"There are so many gravel roads to take care of," he said. "There are just a lot of roads to maintain. It's hard to keep them all maintained."
Blumenberg said part of the problem is the county road and bridge department is down to only 11 employees from 14.
"We're short on men," he said. "We're doing all we can do."
The other problem, however, is that motor grader operators are often grading roads that just don't need it.
In other road maintenance discussion, Blumenberg said the county road and bridge department needs to get another 10,000 gallons of sealing oil and apply it to blacktop roads.
He said the county may need as much as 30,000 gallons of sealing oil for its roads.