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GLEN CARBON - The Village of Glen Carbon is getting an upgraded emergency notification and communication system, which could include a free mobile app with notifications, emergency texts, and more. Members of the public will need to sign up for these alerts once the system has been updated.

Village trustees unanimously approved a Service Agreement with CivicPlus for the “CivicReady Mass Notification System” on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023. Village Administrator Jamie Bowden said at the meeting that the village’s old notification system has become obsolete.

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“The notification system we currently use is not adequate, it’s not being utilized,” Bowden said. “CivicReady, it’s an encompassing, multi-channel emergency and routine communication system. We will be able to utilize it for notifications for emergencies, et cetera. It will also provide a mobile app for citizens to receive updates … notifications via text. It’s a little more robust than what we have now.”

The biggest challenge for the new system will be getting users to sign up, Bowden said. He recommended the village develop a plan to promote the system and encourage residents to sign up once the agreement has been executed.

Glen Carbon Communications Manager Nicole Dicks outlined several notable advantages the CivicReady Mass Notification System has over the village’s previous communication system in a memo to the Finance Committee on Oct. 5, 2023. She said the old system required separate services for calls and texts and charged the village more money the more calls or texts it sent out. The new system unifies calls, texts, and emails under one system and allows unlimited calls, texts, and emails at no additional charge.

The initial investment for this agreement totals $5,567.80 for year one, followed by $7,883 for year two, with a 3% annual upcharge thereafter. The CivicReady Mass Notification System will not require a separate website or support staff; Dicks wrote in her memo that the new system can be implemented into the village’s current website functions, utilizing their current customer support team.

A full recording of the Glen Carbon Village Boards of Trustees meeting is available at the top of this story or on the Village of Glen Carbon Facebook page.

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