Starting soon, the CodeRed emergency messages for Somervell County residents will be sent to all digital devices within range.

Commissioners voted by a 5-0 margin Monday to approve signing a contract for the “reverse 911” system. The contract itself had previously been approved.

The so-called “push” system improves on the current system, which only sends out CodeRed alerts to county residents who have registered to receive them.

Emergency officials have been moving toward the CodeRed alerts, aiming to get away from dependence on sirens and the associated problems that can sometimes occur.

With the new Code Red contract, emergency alerts will be “pushed” to digital devices manufactured since 2011, within a specific range — far enough to cover the county.

Luminant will split the $7,500 cost with the county, paying 50 percent as part of its commitment to Somervell County safety in connection with the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant.

The CodeRed alerts not only include warnings of tornados and flooding, but any other impending threats that residents should know about to ensure public safety.

SRO, CANINE STAFFING

The county voted to enter into an inter-local agreement with the Glen Rose Independent School District for school resource officers to be on each of the four campuses starting this fall, and for a service canine to do searches when needed.

Next, however, the GRISD Board of Trustees will vote on whether or not to accept the agreement in their next regular meeting, starting at 5 p.m. on July 23.

The SRO agreement proposal is for the GRISD to pay for three of the four deputies, and for the fourth SRO officer to be the financial responsibility of the Sheriff’s Office.

The service dog proposal is to have an officer use the trained drug-sniffing dog that is now in service with the Sheriff’s Office conduct searches on the school campuses when needed.

“It’s just a good mix, and all the taxing entities work together,” Somervell County Judge Danny Chambers said. “It’s just better for the taxpayers.”

County Auditor Brian Watts added, “The ultimate result is it saves the taxpayer money.”

The GRISD previously had a one-year contract with an outside company to bring in a trained search dog on a regular basis. That contract ended at the close of the 2017-2018 school year.

The next budget workshop for the Commissioners Court is set for July 23. Judge Chambers has to file his proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year by July 31. Sept. 30 is final budget approval deadline for the commissioners.