STEPHENS CITY — The town has launched two text messaging systems to provide alerts to residents alerts and to allow citizens to text questions to town officials.
The announcement was made Tuesday night at the Stephens City Town Council meeting. After the meeting, Mayor Mike Diaz said the new systems are being provided through TextMyGov.
One system enables people to receive notices and updates from the town government. Those interested in receiving notifications should text “SC notices” to 91896.
“It allows for automated two-way conversations so to speak,” Diaz said. “People can text a number to enroll in the system. Once they’ve enrolled in the system they’ll be advised of trash pick up changes, road closures, water main breaks and other municipal operations throughout the town they should be made aware of. It’s just one more tool for us to warn our residents of the goings on in town.”
Diaz said the service also could be used to alert people of dangerous situations.
The second system enables residents to report issues to the town office — such as potholes, water issues or a neighbor’s grass being too high. All people need to do to use this is to text the number 540-508-8333. Once they send a message to that number, they will be enrolled in the system automatically.
If people text a question about trash pick up times, the messaging system will tell them when the next scheduled trash pick up will take place. If people ask a question that doesn’t have an automated answer, the text message will be sent to the town in an email and town staff will contact the person about their concerns.
People can un-enroll themselves from either text messaging service by texting “STOP”
Also at the meeting, Diaz said that while in-person activities for the Newtown Heritage Festival have been canceled, the town plans to do a remote streaming of musical performances. More details will be forthcoming.
“We have already been in discussions with our musical talent and we have been contacting venues in order to do the video shooting,” Diaz told The Star after the meeting. “Things are progressing in a way we are excited to show.”