BANGS — “Blackboard” is coming to Bangs and will be online within the next 60 days. Blackboard, a call system similar to CODE Red, is intended to simultaneously deliver public service announcements to all registered users within a given municipality.

    “This system is going to be a blessing for our residents,” said Bangs City Administrator Leo Smith. “Blackboard will allow us to keep in contact with our citizens when urgent matters arise.”

    Earlier this week, Bangs water customers received a blank information form with their water bill. “Once our citizens fill that form out, they can either bring it to city hall or mail it to us,” Smith said. Information requested includes phone numbers for those who want to be included in this citywide call system.

    “Blackboard is going to be very beneficial,” Smith said. “For example, if we receive a National Weather Service warning that will impact the Bangs area directly, we will have the ability to let everyone registered in the system aware of the warning.”

    Other instances in which the system could be enacted include boil order notices, low water pressure or water leaks that may affect the flow of Bangs’ water supply.

    Smith explained how the system operates. “Once we receive phone numbers from the residents who want to be registered, the numbers will be placed into Blackboard’s database. Any time there is an occasion to need to use the system, myself or any city official can call into Blackboard, leave the message regarding whatever it may be and then the system will simultaneously place a call to every phone number we have logged into the database.”

    “Follow-up” is another advantage of the Blackboard system, Smith said. “In the case of something like a boil order notice, we will have the ability to place a message within the system to inform residents when that order is lifted, which will keep the citizens from having to call in daily for status updates.”

    Smith has experience with Blackboard. “This was the system we used when I was in Terrell County and it worked like a charm. It is a great tool for keeping the public aware.”

    Research into different call systems began at the urging of members of the city council who voiced concern for citizens who don’t utilize the Internet and were not privy to past notifications regarding water flow issues.

    “We do have citizens who we need to ensure are being made aware when things such as water leaks and boil orders are taking place,” Smith said. “Plus, even when we report these things to television and radio media, there is no guarantee someone will be watching or listening at that time, so this is the best alternative.”

    City officials are urging that all citizens fill out the information form and return it to city hall to guarantee their number will be added to the database.

    For more information regarding Blackboard, visit www.blackboardconnect.com