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Trafford officials discuss ways to get info out

| Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Trafford officials are brainstorming ways to notify the community about bad-weather conditions or other emergency situations, especially through technology.

Emergency-management coordinator Frank Turoczy and Councilman Jay Race say they are in the early stages of discussing ideas.

Turoczy noted the online following that an anonymous Facebook account listed as “Trafford Crime Watch” has developed by posting news stories from the region and safety tips.

That account has 400 friends on Facebook.

Race said they will be reaching out for residents' input as they try to have something to present to the community by summer.

“I don't think it will lead down a route (in) which we will pay for any services,” Race said in an email.

“It is something we want to use to alert residents to various situations around the area, such as blocked or closed roads, severe weather or natural disasters.”

From an emergency-management standpoint, Turoczy said, he wants something that would help alert residents to bad weather, such as a tornado.

Borough officials deactivated the civil-defense siren that had been on the old fire station but haven't installed a new one at the public-safety building.

Councilman John Daykon pointed to the controversy surrounding the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County's recent boil-water order as a situation from which Trafford officials could learn.

Some customers who were among the 50,000 affected by the four-day order complained about vague public information about a potentially contaminated water supply.

Daykon said borough officials could begin using a Twitter account — @TraffordBorough — for announcements. Officials have issued only one tweet since starting the account in January 2012.

“In case of emergency, I think we need to look at all aspects of social media,” Daykon said.

Manchester Room

Now that people are beginning to rent the Manchester Room, borough officials are considering the addition of lighting for the parking lots to help guests get to their vehicles safely.

Mayor Rey Peduzzi said he thinks the borough ought to have lighting for patrons, especially in the new lot on Cavitt Avenue.

“I think that's something that needs to be addressed if we're going to have night-time activities,” he said.

Daykon agreed and said borough officials want people to feel safe when they're leaving events there.

Parking district

Council intends to consider adoption of a new business parking district at its Jan. 21 meeting.

Under the proposal, council would eliminate parking meters and create free two-hour parking spots from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays for:

• Cavitt Avenue, from Third Street to Sixth Street.

• Fourth Street, from Brinton Avenue to Duquesne Avenue.

• Fifth Street, from the 7-Eleven near the Brinton Avenue intersection to Duquesne Avenue.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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