City officials in Huxley are working on getting a notification system set up to make residents aware of certain situations that arise.
The system implementation comes after a number of residents voiced concerns when they received tickets for having vehicles parked on the street over the New Year’s holiday. Due to some areas of town having more snow cover on the streets than others, it was unclear when the plows would be out to remove snow and when it was OK to park vehicles on the street. Huxley Police Chief Mark Pote posted the following message on the department’s Facebook page, Jan. 1, at 3:55 p.m.:
"Due to the snowfall from today and yesterday and the blowing wind today… Snow Removal operations will take place tomorrow morning, Thursday Jan. 2nd. Please have your vehicles removed from the streets until they are cleared off. Please tell your friends, relatives and neighbors if they live here in town."
The number of complaints the police department and city received indicated not everyone had received the message. After talking with Huxley Communications representatives, Pote decided a mass email and text message alert system would be the best option to get a message out to the most residents.
Pote and city officials are in the process of getting the system up and running. Once it is set up, messages will be sent out for not only snow ordinances, but also for other city emergencies, such as water main breaks and storm updates. The message would be sent out to "undisclosed recipients" from the city of Huxley/Police Department to prevent people from being able to obtain cell phone numbers, email addresses or home addresses of those included in the list.
City staff will be in charge of sending out the messages. Pote said it could take approximately one hour for the message to be sent to all residents signed up for the alert system, since only 250 messages can be sent at one time. Most messages will be sent no later 9 p.m., unless there is an extreme emergency situation.
"We are going to give people as much time as possible to get this," Pote said of the messages.
As part of the notification system, the city will be divided into zones. If something occurs that will only impact a certain area of town, only residents in the affected area will be notified to keep the number of notifications to a minimum.
Residents may begin signing up to be notified via email message, text message or both. A notice of the new system and sign-up form will be included in Huxley residents’ water bill. A link also appears on the city’s website that allows residents to sign up for the notification system online. Paper forms can be dropped off at City Hall or in the water bill drop box in the north parking lot of the 3C’s Community Center. If at any time residents want to be taken off the notification list, they simply need to call City Hall and let them know.
Questions about the notification system can be directed to City Hall by calling 515-597-2561.
Notifications could be sent out regarding a number of situations including: plowing of streets for snow removal in order to enact snow ordinance water main breaks/interruptions traffic accidents and detours lost child street closures storm updates other possible city emergencies