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Jasper County Tribune

Colfax City Council discusses communication options

After receiving public comment at the most recent Colfax City Council meeting the council agreed that better communication would be needed in the future between the city and its residents.
After receiving public comment at the most recent Colfax City Council meeting the council agreed that better communication would be needed in the future between the city and its residents.

Communication options between the city and its residents were discussed after a public comment was made about the recent boil advisory that occurred in Colfax. This led to city administrator Wade Wagoner announcing an agenda item would be present to address this at the August meeting.

Public comment was made by a citizen who asked why it took several days for city officials to return their call about about the water problem. The issue occurred when water was introduced to the system that wasn’t expected to be there, which led to the boil advisory and comment was made on the handling of the communication of the advisory.

“I have gotten a lot of comments about couldn’t you have given us daily updates,” Wagoner said.

Additionally, Colfax Main Street Director Stuart Patterson agreed the system in which the city communicates with residents should be looked at. The Colfax Main Street Facebook page also helps to spread the message around, and with the boil advisory Patterson said some people didn’t know they were under one.

“I really do think the city needs to figure out a more effective means for mass communication about issues like this,” Patterson said.

The Colfax Main Street Facebook page put the information out about the boil advisory because the message wasn’t getting out to everyone in the community. It was mentioned the WENS system only has 600 people, of a roughly 2,000 population, registered to get those alerts.

“Maybe it is also a drive to get more people signed up for that emergency messaging services in town just so when we have issues like this we are not put in a bind where there is people in town that didn’t know about it for days,” Patterson said.

While there was agreement there are some deficiencies that arose from the boil advisory situation, Wagoner said on the next agenda there will be proposal for a website update which will include a Facebook page.

“We can do more, we can do better and we can find alternate means of communication ... We have recognized the deficiencies. We intend to get better,” Wagoner said. “I’m excited about the proposal that I am going to bring forth in August and I think you guys will be to. It is going to address all of these things.”

In other business:

• The council agreed to sell the Colfax Police Department’s used 2014 Ford Explorer in the amount of $3,268 with the funds going into the Equipment Revolving Fund.

Contact Dustin Teays at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or dteays@newtondailynews.com

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