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Bryant Code Red System Funding Debate

Budget cuts have forced the city to use the service only for weather-related notifications.
BRYANT, AR - The mayor of Bryant is shedding light on why a boil order alert wasn't issued through the city's Code Red system last week. 

Some residents have expressed concern about why the service wasn't being utilized. 

Mayor Jill Dabbs sent the following information to KARK 4 News explaining the situation.

Code Red Then and Now
Tonight the Bryant city council will consider funding Code Red again as it has in the past.

The city of Bryant initially contracted with Code Red in 2008.  In 2011 less than 10 percent of Bryant residents were signed up for Code Red.

One of Mayor Dabbs' first initiatives after taking office in 2011 was a robust Code Red awareness campaign that has continued year after year via water bill news letter, city website, social media, Bryant fire and police Facebook pages, press releases, media coverage, yearly festivals, and banners around town. Residents registered to use Code Red increased by more than 500 percent and the city began to use this service as an effective communication tool for important notifications in addition to weather alerts.

In 2013 the County took over the expense of emergency weather notifications for the entire county and Bryant kept the non-weather related alerts reducing the cities cost by 33 percent.

Early in 2014 the Bryant city council passed a bare bones budget and cut numerous appropriations  including the Code Red non-weather related notifications.

As a result of the recent precautionary boil orders the council has requested a special meeting for the purpose of re-appropriating funds for the continuation of the city's Code Red contract. Mayor Dabbs stated, "I support their decision as it is important for your local government to have the means to effectively communicate with the residents. Text messages and phone calls are the quickest,  most targeted,  cost efficient manner to communicate emergencies as well as important notifications to the greatest number of people."

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