$5K tab for emergency notification system

Council chooses system to alert residents during storms

BY SUE M. MORGAN Staff Writer

Staff Writer

Sea Bright Sea Bright SEA BRIGHT — Because you can’t always rely on Mother Nature, the Borough Council has agreed to tap into high technology to reach out to residents during storms.

The borough’s civil defense siren serves its purpose except when the wind blows it might not be heard by residents who might need to hear it, according to Councilwoman Dina Long, who chairs the governing body’s Public Safety Committee.

Such was the case on May 25 and 26 when the borough’s downtown side streets leading to the Shrewsbury River were inundated with flood waters driven by a full moon.

Some residents of Beach and River streets complained at subsequent council meetings that they did not know of the approaching flood waters, which reached their peak in the early morning hours of May 26.

“If the wind is blowing the wrong way, [residents] might not hear it,” Long told the council during the June 21 meeting.

To that end, and at the recommendation of Police Chief William Moore, the council voted unanimously to contract with Code Red, a manufacturer of a computerized reverse emergency notification system at the cost of $5,000 annually.

The computerized system offered by Code Red was the least expensive of all of those that Moore researched for the borough, Long said.

Because the Code Red system does not require the installation of any new telephone lines or computer hardware at the police station, it is compact and can be implemented easily, she added.

By using Code Red, police will be able to contact residents, either throughout the town or on certain streets, whose numbers are listed or on file in borough offices to warn of any emergency such as floods, storms or other natural disasters.

The system can be programmed to dial up to three numbers at a residence, as well as cellular telephones, Long said.

Any resident with an unlisted number or whose number is not on file at the borough offices can provide that information at police station, she noted.

The system should be up and running about a week after the first year’s contract is signed by the borough administration, Long said.

On another public safety issue, and at Long’s suggestion, the council unanimously agreed to authorize Mayor Jo-Ann Kalaka-Adams to appoint nine residents to a blue ribbon commission focused on creating a public awareness campaign to slow down traffic on Ocean Avenue.

Increased vehicular traffic, often at high rates of speed, on the borough’s main thoroughfare has put pedestrians and other motorists at risk, Long explained.

Signs for the campaign dubbed “Slow Down in Sea Bright” could be posted in area restaurants and at ferry terminals in nearby towns to warn motorists not to speed through the town, she said.

Police ticketing, though possible, is not preferable, Long pointed out.

“We have to figure out a way to make headway without having the police issue tickets to everyone going 2 miles over the speed limit,” she said.

Kalaka-Adams agreed.

“This is a slower, kinder way to get people to slow down,” she said.

Kalaka-Adams will oversee the committee, which would serve until the end of 2005.