"Miscommunication" leaves city of Denison paying for two alert s - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

"Miscommunication" leaves city of Denison paying for two alert systems

DENISON -- The city of Denison announced last week it would no longer be using the CodeRED emergency alert system and would be replacing it with a new system.

But now, because of what's being described as an internal miscommunication, the city will be keeping CodeRED as well as adding the new system.

Messages on TV screens in city hall last week announced that the county-wide emergency alert system known as CodeRED will no longer be used by the city of Denison as of October 1.

The message said those who wish to continue to receive emergency notifications and severe weather alerts within the city must sign up for its new system, Blackboard Connect.

But now that's not the case.

"It's a decision we have made because we feel there is value in partnering with the county," city manager Robert Hanna said.

Since last week's announcement, Hanna says the city has decided Denison will continue to use CodeRED for emergency alerts.

This is the first year the 16 cities in Grayson County will have to pay for CodeRED with their own money.

A federal grant that had covered the cost for the past five years is going away.

But to terminate the agreement with the county, the city needed to provide written notice 60 days before the yearly renewal date of October 1.

But Hanna says a miscommunication kept that from happening.

Now, the city of Denison will be paying for two systems this upcoming fiscal year at a total of about $17,300.

"Both the city and the county feel like we communicated things the way they're supposed to and we just missed it. We dropped the ball. I have no problem saying that. Nobody's perfect and  people make mistakes," Hanna said.

Hanna says residents will still benefit from Blackboard Connect by allowing the city to send them non-emergency notices, the reason he says the city signed up for the service in the first place.

"We feel non-emergency messaging, like there's a water line break or please come pay your ticket because you're about to get arrested from a warrant standpoint, those are important messages that we wanted to communicate with our constituents," Hanna said.

Hanna says the city's contract with Blackboard Connect ends September 30, 2015.

Between now and then, the city and county say they'll work together to try to meet all of the city's needs through one service.

"I think that's a positive. The taxpayers expect that. I think that's a positive outcome," Hanna said.

Public phone numbers are automatically added to the systems.

Register for Blackboard Connect

Register for CodeRED