Burns Lake may implement new communication system 

The system would be more effective in municipal emergencies 

Burns Lake council is considering including the subscription to a new messaging software in the village’s 2017 municipal budget.

The village says the new system – called Telmatik messaging software – is a much more effective way of communicating with residents when it comes to municipal emergencies and other issues that may affect them.

With this system, village staff would be able to selected a certain geographical area or the entire municipality and send out bulk texts, e-mails, or electronically recorded phone calls.

“The system would be extraordinarily beneficial during water shutoffs, repaving projects, municipal emergencies, fire and rescue responses, annual street flushing, and many other issues that the village encounters throughout the year,” says village staff. “It would also be very helpful during public hearing and rezoning initiatives during which residents within a certain radius of a change must be notified.”

Currently, the village uses its website and Facebook to communicate with the public. Although the village says that these channels have worked well, they don’t allow information to be effectively targeted.

“All of the channels that are currently used are distributed to the entire area,” explains village staff. “In instances such as the Fourth Avenue repaving project, staff have no means of isolating these bulk messages to one area or another.”

Additionally, the village says the current channels don’t provide immediate contact with the public.

“They are required to check their Facebook page or other channels in order to receive our message, and may not notice it when they do.”

If implemented, the plan would cost $2575 annually plus a one-time implementation cost of $500. In addition, considerable staff time would be required during the first few months of implementation. Staff estimates suggest roughly four hours per week during the first six months would be required.

If council decides to move ahead with this plan, residents will be able to go online or contact the village office to be signed up. When their contact information is put into the system, they are sorted by address into a database that staff can access.

“Staff have been given assurances by the service provider of strict resident confidentiality,” says village staff. “We have confirmed that the servers storing the information are housed within Canada so as not to violate any freedom of information and protection of privacy act laws.”

Subscription to the service would be completely voluntary for residents – they could add themselves or be removed at any time. The village adds that this service would be used sparingly so as not to overwhelm residents with messages.

The decision will be made in January 2017.

 

Just Posted

Burns Lake residents safely escape fire

A Burns Lake mother and her four children were able to safely… Continue reading

New Hazelton attempted murder charge

New Hazelton RCMP arrested Ronald Fowler, 60. Alleged incident appears to have happened in Two Mile.

John Rustad: long waits for medevac unacceptable

The MLA wants a review of B.C.’s air ambulance service

Larger buses planned for Hwy. 16 bus system

A third pass-up due to a full bus was recently reported

‘Concerned’ locals at council meeting

Staff turnover, council’s handling of CAO’s absence among concerns

Packed house to see Alaria’s Fiddle in Burns Lake

A Smithers-based group called the Valley Youth Fiddlers delivered a powerful performance… Continue reading

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

Most Read