Council Approves Major Upgrade to the Outdoor Warning Sirens

There is a Federal mandate that all radios become narrow banded by the first part of 2013. This mandate will affect our tornado sirens, as they are all activated/controlled by radio signal. Research was initiated last year aimed at upgrading the tornado siren system to provide more complete and reliable coverage throughout the city, including densely populated areas of the city.  Three options were provided for consideration.

On Oct. 15 City Council approved Option II which includes narrow-banding, relocating the current North Street/East Michigan Street siren to the north, activating the Fire Station siren, and upgrading the system to accommodate two-way digital monitoring. This would allow for constant automated monitoring of the system and warn of any malfunctions in a timely manner.  Currently, there is no alarm on the system and testing is done once a month, a malfunction may occur and not be detected for 30 days or more.  Having a reliable system is a priority and early warning saves lives.

It is most cost effective to do all the work at once.  Council approved $44,000 investment and anticipates receiving some narrow-banding grant money, which will help reduce the overall cost.  The complete and detailed price breakdown can be found under council agenda at milanmich.org.

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