04/05/12 With unusually ideal weather as we are heading into spring, it’s easy to forget that severe weather conditions that bring devastating consequences can arise at any time. Center Township Trustee, Doug Kucera, has made it his goal to bring additional early warning sirens into the area.
Last fall, the Center Township Board consisting of Keith Hammonds, Steve Holm and Jim Baldwin approved the purchase of two weather warning sirens. Kucera said, “They (weather forecasters) predicted a tough winter like we had the year before. If I had known we were going to have the winter we’ve had, we would have already had the sirens in place.”
Following a public hearing late last month the Center Township board again unanimously approved the purchase of the two sirens estimated to cost between $60,000 and $70,000 totally.” According to Kucera, the funds for the purchase will come out of the Rainy Day fund for the township already in place and there will be no additional dollars needed from taxpayers.
Kucera said he has contacted a property owner in the Inwood area near the mobile home park to install one of the sirens. He said the property owner is donating the space. Due to generosity of the owners of the Plymouth Racetrack, the second siren will be installed on the northwest corner of their property.
Kucera said, “These sirens are audible outside in a one to two mile radius, but are not intended to be heard inside.” Kucera said people inside their homes would probably be informed of weather emergencies on the television or radio. He said he advises people to purchase a weather radio as well.
Once the final costs of the equipment and installation are determined, Kucera said he will send the paperwork to the state for final approval.
“We could have them installed between May 1- and May 15.” Kucera said.
Electric service will have to be provided to the sirens and the payment for the ongoing electric maintenance will become the Center Township responsibility.
Kucera hopes the sirens will never be needed, but knows early warning is vital in an emergency. He said, “It’s just like buying a fire truck; you know you have to have it, but hope you never have to use it.”
Carol Anders Correspondent