Wilm. City Council votes for new emergency notification system

By Tom Lehman 11:54pm, January 9, 2014 - Updated 6:32pm, January 10, 2014
City Councilmans Bud Freel and Bob Williams speak out.
A service agreement worth more than $48,000 for a new emergency notification system was approved by council members in Wilmington on Thursday.

WDEL's Tom Lehman reports.

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Council authorized the city's police department to enter a three-year agreement with Nixle, a company that offers notification services for more than 4,600 law enforcement and government agencies in the U.S.

The contract includes a new system that will send crime information alerts to city residents through emails and text messages.

"The will allow the communications department to interact with those persons with cellphones. Right now our 911 system only interacts on the reverse basis with landlines," said Councilman Bob Williams (D-District 7).

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Councilman Bud Freel (D-District 8), says he likes the new system, but the thinks the department should have a long-term goal of creating a smartphone app similar to the one unveiled by New Castle County police earlier this week.

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Bond issuance approved for CEBC project

Council also voted to issue up to $35 million in conduit bond financing to assist with the Community Education Building Corporation's downtown project.

The group seeks to house charter schools in the Bracebridge IV building, which was donated by Bank of America to the Longwood Foundation in 2012 and is located at 1100 N. French St.

Freel, who heads the finance committee, says the bonds will help pay for short-term construction and long-term debts accrued by the corporation.

"The city has no money in this project and this does not impact our borrowing ability or our credit rating in any way," he said.

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The measure didn't receive unanimous approval.

Councilman Justen Wright (D-At Large) voted present on the measure and said he didn't believe the city had enough influence on how the project would benefit Wilmington students and residents.

"I think at some point we have to stand up and say, "look these things need to be met and move forward," Wright said.

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Councilwoman Walsh cast the only "no" vote and cited concerns over the long-term condition of the building. The measure passed in a 10-1 decision, with one absence.

The building is set to open this summer.


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