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Published: Tuesday, 5/4/2010

Oregon contracts with emergency-notification firm

BY JULIE M. McKINNON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Oregon City Council gave the nod to a three-year contract for a system to contact residents with a recorded telephone message in case of evacuations, water boils, and other emergencies.

The $6,613-a-year contract with One Call Now of Troy, Ohio, also will allow Oregon officials to contact residents about select city-sponsored events such as special recycling collections at the municipal building.

City council last week approved the three-year contract plus $500 in set-up costs.

The automated calling service will contact specified residents with a recorded message of up to 60 seconds, and residents can opt out of the system.

To prevent residents' feeling inundated with calls from the city, the system will be used primarily for emergency notification, Mike Beazley, Oregon's administrator, told council members during discussion of the system last month.

"In most cases, we're not going to have problems," Mr. Beazley said. "If you don't plan for it, you're going to have it."

Oregon received a 15 percent annual discount for agreeing to promote One Call Now.

Plus, if Oregon helps secure new clients, the Dayton-area firm will give the city credits equal to 10 percent of each participant's first year's receipts, an amount not to exceed Oregon's annual billing, according to the contract.

Rossford, Northwood, Lake Township, Millbury, and Walbridge are other local municipalities that use One Call Now's notification system, said Michael Scott of One Call Now, who also is a Rossford city councilman.

Municipalities are looking at various ways to eventually use the notification system, such as to survey residents, Mr. Beazley said.

"I want us to walk a little bit before we can run," he said.

The One Call Now system can make up to 12,000 calls a minute, Mr. Scott said.

Oregon can have up to 99 call lists on the system, such as one for city employees and another just for fire and police, he said.

For a 25 percent additional fee, Oregon can add weather advisory notifications in case of blizzards, tornadoes, high winds, and other dangerous conditions, Mr. Scott said.



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