Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Bedford Township eyes communication issues

Alert system, social media presence lacking

TEMPERANCE — Bedford Township Board of Trustees wants to improve township communications to better alert residents during emergencies and spread the word about township business.

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Tienvieri

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“We’re looking at all aspects of communication that we do with regard to our website and our cable channel they publish notices and meetings on,” Trustee Nancy Tienvieri said. “To this point, we’ve determined we’re in dire need of improved communication.”

The trustees established an exploratory cable and communications committee Feb. 16. The trustees plan to dissolve the temporary committee at the end of June and determine whether to form a permanent committee in its place.

Mrs. Tienvieri said the committee has identified issues to tackle.

She said Bedford lags behind in social media. The township does not have its own Facebook or Twitter account. Bedford also doesn’t have a cloud-based emergency-alert system, such as Honeywell.

Mrs. Tienvieri said an elderly township woman drank tap water for three days during the 2014 water crisis before realizing it was contaminated. She found out through a letter in the mail.

“There wasn’t a method of alerting and informing the people other than the Toledo news channels,” Mrs. Tienvieri said. “Do we have adequate communication with our township residents? This committee has determined we don’t, and there needs to be improvement.”

Board meetings are shown live on a local-access channel through Buckeye CableSystem. Buckeye CableSystem is the only cable provider in the area, but the township is open to adding another. However, any provider looking to expand into Bedford would be required to lay its own lines, which is likely to be too expensive and not worth the hassle for most companies, she said.

Mrs. Tienvieri said Buckeye CableSystem officials have expressed interest in meeting with the committee to address issues residents have raised, including service.

“I do believe we have a large enough population where they would want to make inroads to make their customers happy and hear the complaints,” she said.

Block Communications Inc. is the parent company of both Buckeye CableSystem and The Blade.

The exploratory committee will give a presentation to the board in May to share their findings. The committee has handed out surveys to the township’s senior center and schools, and sent informal surveys to the public.

Contact Jay Skebba at: jskebba@theblade.com, 419-376-9414, or on Twitter @JaySkebbaBlade.

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