311 could be implemented, would report weather info

Published 12:02 am Thursday, March 10, 2011

Local residents may soon have a new option for getting information about road closures and reporting damages as a result of inclement weather.

The county’s 911 board met Wednesday and discussed the possibility of establishing 311 as a dedicated information line for residents.

County 911 director Kristy Stamnes said the number would work like calling 911.

“Instead, by dialing 311, it frees up the emergency 911 line and would alleviate some of the burden on our dispatch line,” Stamnes said. “Like (Wednesday) when the weather (was) so bad. Instead of calling 911 to report a washed out road or a tree down, they could call the 311-number.”

The board is currently in the research phase of the project. Other counties in Alabama use the 311-number as a city or county information line; however, cost is a big factor in the project, board members said.

One suggestion board members had was to only use the number in instances of inclement weather, like on Wednesday.

It is unknown when the board plans to make a decision on whether or not to implement the project.