Grambling Council approves notification system

By T. Scott Boatright

The Grambling City Council during its July monthly meeting approved an agreement that will bring emergency alert notifications to any city residents who sign up for the program.

Grambling’s aldermen gave their OK to a four-year deal for the city with CivicReady, a cloud-based system, an emergency notification and critical event management system provided by CivicPlus that empowers local government administrators to expedite crisis response and incident reporting to keep their teams up-to-date with critical information so that their constituents can stay safe.

That cloud-based system offers a variety of ways to send and receive notifications concerning weather, public safety, city notifications and any other information city officials determine that residents need to know in rapid fashion.

CivicReady alerts can be customized to send out messages to specific target audiences for circumstances pertaining only to certain residents or areas of the city or to all residents signed up to receive messages.

Those messages can be received via email, cell phone texts, voicemails, social media and/or mobile apps. Signup for alerts is expected to begin in August.

The system will cost the city approximately $3,600 with annual increases of 1-3% the final three years of the agreement.

“This is very exciting that our citizens will now be informed in a very adequate way of various things and events going on in the city,” said Mayor Alvin Bradley. “Especially in an emergency situation, they will be well-informed as it relates to weather, power outages, water problems or anything of this nature.

“This will offer our citizens a wealth of means to keep informed and engaged with what’s going on with the city.”

During the July meeting Grambling’s City Council also learned of the Planning and Zoning Commission-approved rezoning of approximately three acres on Highway 80 west near the Stop-and-Shop convenience store from single family residential to multi-family use for construction of 20 two-bedroom, single bath duplexes planned by developer Elliott Jones that will rent from $950-1,000 per month.

The City Council did stipulate that the approval to build the apartment complex should be contingent on any recommendations or amendments suggested by the Council or the Planning and Zoning Commission.

“We want to build nice, luxury multi-family duplexes,” Jones said. “When we have even one piece of property come up for rent, we might have 100 phone calls from people wanting it. We’re going to have cameras. We’re gonna have brick, stone and stucco architecture, so it should be top of the line.”

Grambling’s City Council also approved an ordinance amended introduced in June that brings the city’s simple marijuana possession penalties in line with a 2021 state law that decriminalizes holding of less than 14 grams of the drug, reducing the penalty to a $100 fine with no jail time.

Also approved was a change to the date of the City Council’s August meeting, which will now be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 14.