The city of Redwood Falls has created a new email system to let the public instantly know about events like water main breaks, street closings, fall clean-up schedules, and other city business.
Every time there’s a snow day, most parents who have children in the Redwood Valley school district are aware of the school’s email notification system. One beep of the cellphone, and parents hear from the school about an important change in the day’s schedule. The Redwood Area Community Center has a similar system for alerting member when events are canceled due to weather. If a summer rec T-ball game has to be canceled because of a thunderstorm. the news goes out instantly to parents’ cell phones and computers. As of last week, the city of Redwood Falls has a new system in place for similar announcements. “We evaluated what our most frequent customer service calls are,” said city administrator Keith Muetzel. “People would call to say, ‘Why was my garbage not picked up?’, which takes up our staff’s time to answer. We thought a notification system would help prevent those types of calls.” Among events the new system will tell residents about: • snow emergencies • street seal coating schedules • fall clean-up schedules • temporary parking restrictions • temporary street closures • garbage pickup delay “We’re going to be selective. We want to save the system for city business, not about public service announcements such as letting people know about garage sales,” Muetzel said. Deputy Clerk Sue Wessels said, “We’ve been discussing having a system like this for at least a year. We thought it would be better to have announcements come to residents so they don’t need to come to city hall.” As it happens, the city already had a notification system in place for the community center. City staff just had to add city options to the existing system. Muetzel said he doesn’t anticipate the system being used daily or even weekly. He said city staff plans to save the for timely messages about city operations that will affect peoples’ daily lives. Anyone is welcome to sign up for the new city alert system. Although it is an email system, it works on any digital device (cellphones, iPads, etc.) you’ve set up to see email. For more information, look up the city’s website at www.ci.redwood-falls.mn.us