County commission sets up new text message service for residents

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The Kanawha County Commission is launching a new service to provide citizens with a new way to get their questions answered quickly.

Beginning Friday, Feb. 26, residents can text (304)KC4-HELP, or 304-524-4357, to get guidance to resources or to report potential issues. The texting program is in partnership with the TextMyGov, which the commission says uses the persons regular messaging service to relay information by using keywords such as “ordinances, report code violations, utility, COVID-19 info, emergency preparedness” and other topics where citizens may want more information.

Commission President Carper said, “If we’ve learned anything from the last year of living during a worldwide pandemic, multiple lines of communication are crucial to the safety of our citizens. Our texting service will be a new way for citizens to get the answers they need within moments.  We know time is of the essence, and our citizens need new, innovative ways to reach out to us,” Commission President Kent Carper said.

The Kanawha County Commission says residents will also be able to opt-in for emergency text alerts from the county such as messages regarding chemical emergencies and inclement weather.

The Kanawha County Commission is launching a new service to provide citizens with a new way to get their questions answered quickly. (Photo Courtesy: Kanawha County Commission)

“We’re thrilled to offer a new way to serve our citizens. One example of how this service will increase our outreach with citizens is the code enforcement side,” Commissioner Ben Salango said. “Citizens will have the ability to submit code complaints, for example, ‘report tall grass’ or ‘report dilapidated structure,’ directly to our planning office. They can include details of the code violation and a real-time picture of their concern.  This will be a huge aide for our code enforcement officers to respond to complaints.”

To enroll to receive emergency alerts, text KCEMERGENCY to 91896. The commission says standard text messaging rates apply for citizens.

“We recognize the need for lines of communication to be consistently open, in multiple ways. TextMyGov will be a simple way for our citizens to reach out to us with a quick question or an in-depth concern, and do it all from their cell phone,” Commissioner Lance Wheeler said. “While we are exceedingly active on multiple social media sites, we feel this service will reach our citizens who may not have social media but still appreciate the ease of texting.”

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