CHURUBUSCO — Considering the current events with the coronavirus pandemic and the need to communicate effectively with residents, Churubusco’s town council approved the purchase of a new service.

ReachAlert allows the town to send text alerts to residents.

“It is being used by numerous towns and cities in the state,” said Clerk-Treasurer Madalyn Sade-Bartl.

The cost will be $950 for the first year and $1,900 for the second year of the two-year contract. The town will be allotted 50,000 messages per year.

Bartl, along with Town Marshal Dustin Papenbrock, will be able to send updates to the public if needed.

“We’ve been talking about this for awhile but this made me realize we kind of need it,” Bartl said.

The council approved the purchase unanimously.

“I like the technology, it’s a quick way to get the word out,” said Councilman Nathan Van Horn.

Town makes changes for public health emergency

Churubusco’s Town Council unanimously approved a resolution making several changes due to the public health emergency caused by the coronavirus.

Most importantly to town residents, all non-payment disconnects have been waived through April 9, and penalties for non-payment will also be waived through that time.

Several town buildings are closed to the public — the clerk-treasurer’s office, town hall, park public restrooms, wastewater plant and water plant.

The Churubusco Police Department has restricted access, with only the lobby open and cleaning taking place at every shift. The town hall is only open during council meetings.

All non-essential town-related travel has been prohibited until further notice, and non-essential travel by employees has been “strongly discouraged.”

The town council meeting slated for April 1 was canceled, and it is possible that the April 15 meeting will be canceled as well. The council will make a decision by April 9.

Town employees may be operating on alternate work schedules and doing remote work when applicable. The town has other instructions for employees, such as not working while ill and protecting those who may be at a higher risk of complications of the virus.

The council’s resolution stated that the policies will be re-evaluated as necessary.

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