Three Rivers residents with concerns about the condition of city streets, animals, minor water leaks or a variety of other items have a new option to connect with city staff via text messages.
Through a textmygov program, local residents will have the option to communicate with city employees. The number to text items to is 361-316-1136 and residents can also sign up for notifications to be alerted when there is a boil water notice or trash collection is running late, said Three Rivers City Administrator Thomas Salazar.
“Back during the freeze, we would post things on Facebook to alert our citizens but several of them told us that they do not use Facebook,” he said. “With this new option, anyone who is able to send text messages can notify us of a concern, and we can send them alerts, as well, if they sign up for the service.”
One thing the service is not intended to do, however, is to notify officials when there is an emergency. In those situations, people are still encouraged to call 911 or the Live Oak County Sheriff’s Office at 361-449-2271, such as when there is a major water leak, Salazar said. The textmygov service is only monitored during regular business hours (from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday).
If someone texts a concern, such as “pothole,” a response will ask for more information, including the nearest address. That also generates an email that is sent to city staff.
“This is convenient for people who want to communicate with us but don’t want to call in or stop by city hall,” Salazar said. “It will also help us to find things we’re not seeing that are concerns in the community.”
“It will make it easier for people to report things, and people can also get information on the City Council,” said Punky Kerr, human resources director for the city. “If people text about the council, they will be sent a link that connects them to the city website.
Other items which can be communicated if people sign up for text alerts from the city include local roadwork, major accidents in the city that may require traffic to be rerouted, and big events the city is hosting.
“We really hope this will help people to feel more connected, and it gives us another way to get the word out about important things, too,” Kerr said.
To sign up for the service, text 361-316-1136.