County gets new method to alert citizens of severe weather
In case of severe weather in Goodhue County, residents no longer have to rely on just sirens. The County Board unanimously approved Tuesday using a new option of the CodeRed Weather Warning system that will contact citizens directly if they enroll in the program and warn them of severe thunderstorms, tornado warnings and flash floods.
“So not only would people be getting the siren coverage … they would also be getting these phone alerts,” explained Emergency Management Director Diane Richter-Biwer.
Starting in May, citizens can enroll online at www.co.goodhue.mn.us or by calling 651-267-2640 and select the types of severe weather for which they want to be notified. CodeRed will call every phone number a person lists upon enrollment.
The new feature will cost the county $9,188 annually starting in 2014.
Remembering a couple of years ago when some of the county’s sirens failed during severe weather, commissioners were all in favor of having another method available to alert residents.
“I think for $9,000 a year this is really … one of the core services that government can provide,” Commissioner Dan Rechtzigel said.
Kwik Trip will provide county’s gasoline
Goodhue County vehicles will be seen at Kwik Trip gas stations much more frequently as the board voted 5-0 Tuesday to enter a contract with the company.
The county vehicles have previously been filled from a tank at Public Works using a card system that is becoming outdated. It also resulted in out-county vehicles driving a significant distance to fuel up.
Through the contract with Kwik Trip, the county will have access to fueling locations throughout the Midwest, be given a 6 cent reduction on every gallon of unleaded gas or diesel fuel and attain monthly vehicle/driver transaction reports, among other benefits.
“We anticipate there will be dollar savings and we know there will be time savings,” Finance Director Carolyn Holmsten said.
The contract extends through Dec. 31. Near the end of the year it will be reviewed and a decision will be made for 2013.
Tuesday's County Board meeting lasted one hour. All members were present.
— Compiled by Regan Carstensen, staff writer