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Emergency notification system up for renewal

Harrison County Emergency Management Agency director Greg Reas Monday night requested a renewal of the Emergency Mass Notification Alert System, for a $12,000 annual cost, at the Harrison County Council meeting.
Reas said ‘right at’ 11,000 people have signed up for the service, which has been busy this spring with severe thunderstorm, tornado and flood warnings.
The service is free for those who sign up for the notifications.
‘This is an excellent tool for emergency notifications of all types and, best of all, you choose which notifications you would like to receive,’ Reas said. ‘We are encouraging all Harrison County residents, business owners and local organizations to take advantage of this free service.’
As of now, the service only offers weather alerts.
They are: Wind ‘ high wind; Flood ‘ flash flood, flood; Winter ‘ blizzard, freezing fog, freezing rain, heavy snow, ice storm, snow and blowing snow, winter storm, winter weather; Non-precipitation ‘ excessive heat, hard freeze; Fire ‘ fire weather; and Severe ‘ severe thunderstorm, tornado (tornado warnings are automatically sent; there’s no option on it).
Eventually, Reas said schools may take advantage of the system for notifications for its students and families.
Users input an address, and the system will relay chosen notifications for that area. Multiple addresses are allowed, so residents can use their home and place of work addresses.
Notifications are sent by text, phone call and email, with residents allowed to pick any ‘ or all ‘ of the options.
An option also exists for a ‘don’t contact me between’ time period of the user’s choice.
To sign up for the service, provided by Everbridge, visit harrisoncounty.in.gov and scroll to the bottom of the page for a link which will lead to the sign-up page.
For more information or assistance with the sign-up process, call Reas at 812-738-8949 or visit the EMA office at 245 Atwood St., Suite 217, Corydon.
‘We’ve been real happy with it,’ Reas said.
Last year, health director Tony Combs secured a grant to pay for the service.
The request will first have to go before the county commissioners, and then, if approved, it can be advertised for a vote with the council.
In other business, Rand Heazlitt, the Harrison County Parks superintendent, requested the use of $10,000 out of the parks department’s non-reverting capital fund to purchase four new paddle boats for Buffalo Trace Park at Palmyra.
He called the paddle boats ‘work horses’ for the department, bringing in $15,000 in revenue last year.
The park currently has 12 pontoon-style paddleboats that are nearing 40 years old, Heazlitt said.
‘It takes bubble gum, duct tape and binding twine to keep them together,’ he said. ‘And they have really seen better days, but they’ve been amazing pieces of equipment and it’s time to start replacing them … they’ve earned their keep, over and over again.’
The two-seater boats cost $2,500 a piece.
The fund totals $20,000, and the remaining $10,000 will, potentially, be used for shelterhouse repairs at Noe’s Rest Park near Elizabeth.
The board also approved the commissioners to use $7,500 from timber sales to raze the white house on county property along Atwood Street, near the EMA storage building (near the Government Center). The building is dilapidated and full of mold, Commissioner Jim Klinstiver said.
The council’s next meeting will be Monday, June 12, at 7 p.m. at the Government Center in south Corydon.

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