Code RED to notify, warn city residents

Published 11:21 am Friday, November 9, 2012

Bainbridge residents will soon benefit from a service that will automatically contact them in case of an emergency—such as severe weather—or notify them of utility outages.

The Bainbridge City Council approved a contract with Emergency Communications Network of Ormond Beach, Fla. for the company’s Code RED product, which allows local government officials to send recorded voice messages, emails, text messages and social media messages to both citizens and city staff. The city will pay $8,000 per year for the next three years to utilize the service.

Email newsletter signup

Code RED will use data from several sources to determine who to call, including listed residential and business phone numbers, utility billing data, business licenses, 911 data and information voluntarily provided by citizens and business owners.

The system, which will only apply to city residents, uses mapping technology to determine who to call and can be customized to send out messages to a particular geographic area. One planned usage of Code RED is to send out automated notices related to ongoing sewer master plan projects, said Roy Oliver, director of the city’s Community and Economic Development Division.

Any time the National Weather Service issues alerts for a severe thunderstorm, flash flood or tornado warning, Code RED will automatically call affected citizens over the telephone.

A community-wide call will be made sometime next week to introduce the weather warning product and direct citizens to sign up on a Web site to receive weather alerts.

City of Bainbridge officials and emergency response leaders will be able to activate Code RED to notify citizens of specific emergencies, such as natural gas leaks, a public safety incident or other hazard. Less critical notices such as road closures or utility interruptions can also be sent out.

City Manager Chris Hobby said Code RED will be operational this week.


Council approves unexpected work on communications tower

The council approved, by unanimous vote, a payment of $145,113 to Motorola Solutions of Lawrenceville, Ga., for tower and facility improvements related to the City of Bainbridge’s portion of the narrowband communications upgrade.

City Manager Hobby said Motorola engineers discovered that the city’s communications tower, located behind the old BPS Headquarters on Shotwell Street, was not properly grounded and thus susceptible to damage from lightning strikes. In order for Motorola to warranty new equipment being placed on the tower, the city had to fix the issue, Hobby said.

The new bill will be added on to a equipment lease plan managed by the Georgia Municipal Association, that the council had already arranged to finance its portion of the narrowband conversion. The federal government has ordered local governments to switch over to narrowband radio frequencies by the end of the year.


Other business

In other business, the City Council:

• Approved an application from Joe Beasley, doing business as Sugar Shack Smokehouse, 318 E. Water St., for sales of malt beverages for on-premises consumption.

• Approved a resolution marking November 4 as Georgia Retired Educators Day.

• Approved a resolution marking November as Hospice Month. Hospice offers “a special way of caring for terminally ill patients and their families, enabling them to live comfortably and peacefully in their final days.”

• Approved a request from Henry Paul Temples of 118 River Oaks Drive to annex his property into city limits, when it becomes available for annexation, for the purposes of receiving city water service.

• Approved an ordinance annexing five acres of city-owned property off Avenue C into city limits. The tract is part of a larger 20-acre property at the city’s old landfill site, where it plans to build a solid waste transfer station. The transfer station will help reduce the number of trips city garbage trucks have to make between Bainbridge and the county landfill off U.S. 27 South near Attapulgus.

• Recognized Public Safety employee Patricia Wimberly as the city’s 2011-2012 Employee of the Year. Wimberly is a long-time clerk at Public Safety who was diagnosed with cancer in 2011. Public Safety Director Eric Miller nominated Wimberly because of her positive attitude and the fact that she chose to continue to work even while undergoing chemotherapy and other treatment.