CLUTE — Residents could
get police, news and emergency information alerts via
e-mail, text messages and pagers if Clute officials move
forward with a notification system being considered.
Clute-based Read Communications, L.L.C. gave a
presentation recently to City Council about installing
an e-mail notification system the company created called
Although council members said such a service could be
beneficial to the city and its residents, they opted to
have the company submit a contract for the city attorney
to review before taking action at its next council
The service would cost the city an annual subscription
fee of $2,500 and a one-time setup fee of $1,000.
The subscription would be for an unlimited number of
subscribers, with no cost to the public.
If the city decided to use
residents would have to subscribe by logging on to the
city’s Web site, clicking on the subscription icon and
entering their e-mail address to begin receiving
notifications. Residents would not receive e-mails if
they do not subscribe.
“The more cities use it, the more citizens find out and
decide to put their e-mail on the list,” said David
Read, president of Read Communications. “You have to use
it regularly to get the public to use it.”
It would enable the city to send e-mail and text
messages to e-mail addresses, cell phones equipped to
receive e-mails, pagers and PDAs to the public and
private groups, Read said.
“The service is a Web-based collection and distribution
system,” he said.
His wife, Brenda Read, added “In case of a crisis,
people are gone from the city. So how would you get
information out to them? It gives cities a tool to
Other Houston-area governments subscribe to the service
as well. They include Deer Park, Kemah, Friendswood,
Pearland and Brazoria County.
Friendswood has more than 11,000 subscribers in its
database who use the system regularly.
“During the Rita evacuation, the city could have used
it,” David Read said. “The only way to communicate with
residents during times like that is through your Web
site and e-mail.”
There is no limit to the number of e-mails the city can
send, and no hardware is required for the city to use
it. It is strictly Web- based and integrates into the
city’s Web site so subscription management is automated,
David Read said.
“It seems like the city could benefit from a system like
this,” Councilman Travis Quinn said.
Clute also looked at a proposal from the company to
redesign the city’s existing Web site to integrate with
GroupBuilder.net service. The site would undergo
graphic design, navigation and menu design and content
There would be easy navigation and easy maintenance to
the site once the system has been updated. Any city
official granted access to update the site can do so by
logging on, picking the system to edit, making necessary
changes and clicking the save button.
“It looks like a good service,” said Councilman David
Culpepper. “It sounds extremely easy.”
The redesign would cost $4,400, while hosting the site
would cost $240 a year.
Jason Smith covers Clute for The Facts. Contact him at