Starting Friday, Daviess County will be under a code red.
But not a code red like we know, but free weather warnings straight to a home or cell phone as soon as they are declared.
The system is called Code RED and starting this Friday, residents with landlines in the county will get an automated test message about the severe weather alerts.
In a press release, Daviess County Emergency Management Director Paul Goss said calls will start around 3 p.m. and last throughout the afternoon.
“It will take longer for the tests than the actual notification,” Goss said.
For those with cell phones or internet phone service like Vonage, they have to register with their street address and number on the Code RED site. The site is linked on the city of Washington’s website at www.washingtonin.us. Smartphones can also download an app that gives notifications.Goss, along with Commissioner and Washington Township Volunteer Chief Tony Wichman, urged residents that do not receive a call this week or use a cell phone as their primary phone to register with Code RED.
The service is free as a partnership with the county, GPC and Duke Energy paid for the cost of the program.
The commissioners and the County Council will hold a special joint executive session Tuesday at 8:15 a.m. An open session will be held at 9 a.m.
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss a possible settlement of the Bennington Levee suit. Wichman, along with Council President Mike Sprinkle and County Attorney Grant Swartzentruber, will be meeting with attorneys of the Army Corps of Engineers to mediate a possible settlement of the suit.
Two appointments were made by the commissioners. Dave Smith was appointed to the Community Corrections Advisory Board and Phil O’Haver was appointed to the South Central Region 8 Workforce Board.
Highway Superintendent Phil Cornelius said the state Department of Transportation is ready to revert several of the county road crossings over I-69 back to the county. He received a sample letter from INDOT, saying the agency can notify them in writing, or come to meetings in person to turn over plans and formally give back the crossings.
The county, Cornelius said, would be responsible for mowing and guard rails up to a certain point on the crossings and said he had some concerns with guard rail replacement and mowing.
Wichman said he has seen some washes along some of the drainage systems. Cornelius said if there was a design failure, then he presumed INDOT would be responsible.
Cornelius also said he was looking into weed killers and chemicals that stunt grass growth along the crossings.
“I guess, theoretically, it will be a challenge,” Wichman said.
“It will be,” Cornelius said.
Cornelius also said there have been complaints of contractors using CR 400S. If anyone has seen trucks on that road, they are to notify the sheriff’s department.
While commissioners and Sheriff Jerry Harbstreit thanked the public for their assistance to the burn ban, it will continue for the near future.
“We’ve had some issues, but overall it has been better than (the last big drought in) 1998,” Wichman said. “I don’t see any immediate change.”
“They’ve been good with the burn ban,” Harbstreit said. “They’ve been good with the fireworks too.”
Starting Friday, Daviess County will be under a code red.
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