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Clinton uses texts to inform citizens during winter weather

By Randy Bell

TextMyGov

Clinton’s new text alert platform hasn’t been used much, but it blasted out a series of messages when icy weather rolled into the City in mid-January.

There was a text on January 15 announcing that City offices would have a delayed opening the following day and that the Clinton Parkway bridge was closed because of slippery conditions. On January 16, Clintonians who’ve signed up for the text service were notified that City offices would remain closed and that the Board of Aldermen meeting that night had been postponed. Later in the day, another text announced that municipal court cases set for January 17 were being rescheduled for March.

Clinton’s Director of Communication and Tourism Marlee Price says bad weather was one of the main reasons she wanted to implement TextMyGov.

“I thought it pertinent to add another form of communication outside of traditional newsletters and social media,” she says.

The City’s contract with the platform puts a limit on the number of texts that can be sent, so Price says she’s trying to be judicious with the messages.

“I wanted to reserve texts for instances that affect all citizens, in an effort not to over-communicate.”

She plans to use TextMyGov in the future to remind the public about upcoming events or to provide notifications when events change.

So far, about nine hundred Clintonians have signed up for the two-way texting service, many of them doing so during January’s winter weather. Citizens can choose to receive alerts and can also use the platform to notify the City about situations which need attention, to ask questions or even to pay their water bill.

Price says signing up for TextMyGov is simple. Interested individuals can text “CLINTON” to 91896 on a cellphone, then reply “Yes” to the confirmation message that is sent.

To use the platform to contact the City, a user can text “Hi” to 601 488 3563 and follow a series of prompts to be guided through the process.

Those who change their minds about the service or believe they’re getting too many texts on the platform can be removed from the TextMyGov list by responding with the word “STOP” to any notification they receive.

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