ST. ALBANS, WV (WOWK)—People in one Kanawha County community now have a new way to get messages about everything from boil water advisories to traffic accidents. The City of St. Albans launched the program in December and close to 500 people have already signed up. The city will pay $1,500 a year for the Heads Up Community mobile app. It is a service they are hoping will help improve communication with residents.

“One of the problems people have with government is transparency and lack of communication,” said Mayor Scott James. “Lack of communication can really cripple a town or a business.”

The mayor said the app will be a vital tool when it comes to keeping the community informed. Since rolling out the app they’ve notified residents about a variety of issues like holiday hours, trash pick up and water problems.

“We had our department heads trained,” he said, adding that city leaders will be able to put out the alerts themselves. James said the app will also help them spread the word fast during emergencies and natural disasters. Once a resident downloads the app they can customize the types of information they want to receive.

The Parks and Recreation department will even be sending out alerts about upcoming events. The mayor said he is hoping the app will be what he calls a “win-win” for the city and the people who live there.

“I feel the better that we can communicate with the citizens the better this community is going to be,” he said.