WS City Council Votes to Upgrade Storm Sirens
Wed, 02/03/2021 - 12:10pm admin
by Amanda Mendez, publisher email@example.com
At the last City Council meeting, the Willow Springs Board of Aldermen unanimously voted to spend approximately $9,000 on an upgrade to the City’s storm siren system.
In early December, the City had an issue with sirens going off without prompting from the City.
“It was causing a problem, a panic,” said City Administrator Beverly Hicks.
The reason the sirens were malfunctioning was the mechanism was receiving a tone from a nearby agency with a frequency similar enough to the City’s to trigger the sirens. The other agency’s signal tower is higher than the one in Willow Springs, so the other agency's signal will continue to override the City's unless there are significant changes to the current system, Hicks reported.
Without repairs, the sirens remain disconnected from power to prevent unwanted alerts.
“We’re not sitting ducks,” explained Hicks. The sirens can be reconnected to power in the event of an emergency, but it is not clear whether interference from the other agency would affect the sirens at a critical moment.
According to Hicks, the upgrade to the siren system allows the City to set off the sirens remotely using a mobile phone or even automatically based on warnings issued by the National Weather Service. The cost for this is approximately $9,000.00, and includes a new license through the FCC for a new tone.
This upgrade could potentially help resolve separate issues that the Willow Springs Fire Department has experienced with interference from another agency as well.
Alderwoman Susan Rackley made a motion to approve the spending, which was seconded by Alderman Phil Knott.
Installation of the upgrades is expected within three weeks.