Officials in Cole County have approved a proposal to add 15 new tornado sirens.
The proposal of new tornado sirens has been an ongoing project for the last several years between the Cole County Commission and the Jefferson City Council. Cole County Emergency Management Coordinator Bill Farr says as of right now Jefferson City owns all of the sirens in the nearby area. Those sirens are in Russellville and Lohman, Mo.
“The problem with the old sirens are they are 30 to 40 years old, several of them. They work on three phase electricity so there was always problems if we had power outages, we had no backup systems for the sirens that were presently there,” Farr said.
The proposed sirens are a newer style; they are digital, electronic sirens. Jefferson City Council member Ralph Bray says that the community will be able to feel safer with the new sirens.
“For the first time the community will be able to receive warnings in different parts of the city depending on what, you know, the emergency is. With the old system, all the sirens were either on or they were off,” Bray said.
The new sirens don’t come cheap though, Farr says the cost is around twenty-five thousand dollars for each location, which means the total cost will be almost half a million dollars for the whole county. Farr says the Cole County Commission will be funding the project but they’re hoping to get some help.
“They’re looking at some of these larger communities within the county to get some financial assistance from those as well, to help offset some of this cost,” Farr said.
Farr says that he is hoping the work will start sometime in August and make sure that it is completed before the winter of 2012.