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Alertable app a big hit in Boyle

Council renews subscription to notification service for $3,600
Councillors, administration and residents of the Village of Boyle have been very happy with the Alertable app the municipality has been employing to get messages out to the public. Council decided to renew the subscription at a cost of $3,600 at their Dec. 21 regular meeting. 

BOYLE – The Village of Boyle is very happy with its investment in the Alertable app earlier this year, so much so, council agreed to renew its subscription to the notification service, which keeps subscribers informed on village happenings, emergencies, weather events and more. 

At the Village of Boyle’s Dec. 21 regular meeting, councillors said they’ve been very impressed with service thus far and have heard nothing but good things from residents who’ve downloaded the service to their cell phones. They voted unanimously to continue using the service, at an increased price. 

CAO Warren Griffin said the village signed up for a $1,000 package when the opportunity first came about and paid an additional $500 to have the Boyle logo added to its notification. However, seeing as that starter package is no longer available, the new price to continue with the service would be $3,600. 

“Administration’s position on usage is we’ve been very happy with it. We’re getting good outreach,” he said, adding features like  

The most recent alert at the time of the meeting, referring to the adjusted hours at the Boyle Healthcare Centre, garnered 787 unique devices, Griffin said, which would add up to nearly the entire population of the village, however he noted that there are also a number of Athabasca County residents who have signed up, as well as a few from the town. Still, he estimated about 70 per cent of the community is receiving updates from the app. 

Griffin also noted, they have yet to use the application to its fullest potential, so more growth and usage is still possible. He also noted the Town of Athabasca does not currently use any similar service, but there have been very minor discussions on how to regionalize such a service, though the logistics of all three municipalities posting to the same account may result in issues of its own. 

Athabasca County currently subscribes to the Voyent Alert system, which sends out similar notifications from the municipality, though it is rarely used. 

“I think it’s a testament that the town took notice and said ‘Hey, we don’t have one, maybe we should’. The county has theirs, and we have ours, and people really like ours,” said Griffin. 

“What I like about this is that we can post information and it doesn’t become a chatline,” said mayor Colin Derko. “Like when you go on Facebook and then you get the replies, and it just becomes a big BS session with the people that have nothing better to do sometimes. This is to the point, full stop, done. It’s whatever we put on it and that’s what it is. I think a lot of people appreciate that; they don’t want all that.” 

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