Ahoskie plans to subscribe to mass notification system

Published 4:50 pm Friday, July 21, 2023

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AHOSKIE – In an effort to better communicate with its citizens, especially during water outages or street repairs, town officials here are planning to subscribe to a mass notification system.

At their regular monthly meeting on July 11, members of the Ahoskie Town Council discussed the benefits of such a system.

Town Manager Leigh Etheridge said town staff attended a Zoom meeting on June 27 that was a demonstration of a citizen notification and communication system offered by Go Gov.

“The Go Gov notification system is a solution for creating and sending communications to citizens in our town,” Etheridge explained, adding that the alerts are sent out to those with mobile phones capable of downloading an app.

Etheridge said the cost of this system is not part of the newly adopted FY 2023-24 budget.

“If Council chooses to move forward with this system this year, we can request funds from our TDA (Tourism Development Authority),” Etheridge suggested. “Approval of funding by the TDA would allow the town to subscribe to this service for our citizens in the current fiscal year instead of waiting to implement this system for FY 2024-25.”

The subscription to Go Gov is $3,900 annually.

“We can send alerts with this system to every person in our town who download the app,” noted Town Councilman David Hunt. “For example, when we start working to repair our water system and certain streets will be impacted, we can put that information out to our citizens with one push of a button. We can use it to alert our citizens about inclement weather, road closures, a whole lot of things. This opens the door for us to mass communicate with our citizens.”

Hunt said the app also has an interactive map of the town and share info about events taking place.

“What we have to do is encourage our citizens to download the app,” stressed Mayor Weyling White.

A motion was approved to apply for a grant from the Ahoskie TDA to fund the annual subscription to Go Gov for the current fiscal year. If the town wishes to maintain that subscription beyond FY 2023-24, it would have to account for those funds within its annual operating budget.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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