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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • PCESB tables decision of mass alert system

  • Does Phelps County need a mass call-out system to notify residents about severe weather alerts, evacuations, power outages, boil orders, road closures, and even changes in trash pickup schedules or possibly if jury duty is cancelled?
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  • Does Phelps County need a mass call-out system to notify residents about severe weather alerts, evacuations, power outages, boil orders, road closures, and even changes in trash pickup schedules or possibly if jury duty is cancelled?
    It has been an ongoing discussion among the Phelps County Commissioners since the summer.
    On Thursday, two of the commissioners, Randy Verkamp, presiding commissioner, and Larry Stratman, District One commissioner, attended the Phelps County Emergency Services Board meeting to keep this discussion going.
    "We want to keep the lines of communication open with the 911 board," said Verkamp. "This includes what role the board would play should the county choose to implement a mass call-out system."
    Verkamp added that the board had lots of questions and that is a good thing.
    "That is why we were there," he said.
    Verkamp said should the county push forward with this project that more than likely, bids will be sought from potential mass notification service providers.
    One of the questions raised by PCESB Chairman Paul Rueff was how much of a value such a system would have with the board.
    "We are a board that contracts with the emergency communications center. Ours is more of an advisory organization versus a working agency," he said.
    Rueff was grateful for the presentation and he asked the board members to table their discussion on the topic until the December meeting.
    "I gave everyone some food for thought to bring to the table next month," Rueff said. "This is certainly not an issue that the county is going to institute tomorrow."

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