Letter: Emergency alert system should include boil water notices

From: Bill Kozar


In a previous letter to the editor, submitted Dec. 29, 2020, I questioned why the Columbus and Bartholomew County alert system could not be used to warn any area of the county of an emergency, such as a boil water advisory. Boil water advisories are regularly printed in The Republic, giving critical notice to the readers who happen to spot it, and usually a day or so after the fact. A reader might say “Oh, I didn’t know we’ve been under a boil water order for two days now!”

That was the case for my daughter who had not been notified in any way about the boil water advisory affecting her area until after I spotted it in in The Republic more than 24 hours later. Regardless of who was supposed to give the warning, I suggested that the alert system could/should be used. In an article in The Republic a few days after my letter was published, a representative from BCAS responded with a number of reasons why it can’t be used, one of which was lack of full-time personnel on hand to issue such a warning, and another reason I believe was it can’t be used area-specific.

Which brings me to the Columbus/Bartholomew County Citizens Alert I and many of us received Friday, Sept. 23, warning of street closings (Lafayette, Tipton Lane, Chestnut, and others) taking place on Saturday for the Mill Race Marathon. To me, that is a very “area specific” warning.

So, if the Columbus/Bartholomew County alert system can be used for the marathon, and not for the health and safety of city and county citizens, such as in a boil water advisory, I must ask again, why not?