Mill demolitions to be included in alert system

WEIRTON — To better alert residents of the continuing demolition of former steelmaking facilities in Weirton, city officials have worked with the Frontier Group of Companies and the Hancock County Office of Emergency Services to establish a notification system.

During an informational work session Wednesday, City Manager Joe DiBartolomeo explained city officials, including himself, Councilmembers Tim Connell and George Ash, Fire Chief Jerry Shumate and Police Chief Rob Alexander had met with representatives of Frontier following concerns expressed by residents over the ongoing demolition of the basic oxygen plant facility.

“They went through it completely,” DiBartolomeo said, noting Frontier has been meeting state and federal codes on the demolition, and has inspectors on site throughout the process.

As part of the most recent tear-down, DiBartolomeo said Frontier offered to hand out notices to nearby residents and businesses to better explain the process.

In the meantime, Shumate began working with Hancock County officials to have alerts on the demolition included in the county’s Swift 911 service.

“They have a two-tiered system,” Shumate said, noting one will alert to emergency situations while another will inform of imminent danger situations. “It’ll notify them just like an Amber alert.”

Alerts can be sent out by either e-mail or text message.

Officials explained, while alerts will be sent out through the system, it doesn’t mean they want residents coming to the sites to watch the demolitions take place.

DiBartolomeo said police and firefighters will be on hand to ensure residents are safe and out of the way, just as they did during the most recent demolition.

“The police and fire did a good job of keeping everyone out of the area,” DiBartolomeo said.

Residents can sign up for the notifications through the Alert Center on the city’s website at www.cityofweirton.com.

(Howell can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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