Council approves new tornado siren

by Jeff Pederson
Sheboygan Falls News Editor

The Sheboygan Falls Common Council approved the purchase of a new tornado/civil defense siren during a semimonthly meeting Tuesday, Feb. 18, at the City Hall Municipal Building.

During a Property Committee meeting, Sheboygan Falls Police Chief and Director of Public Safety Steve Riffel said the siren currently stationed at the Municipal Building will need to be replaced.

“That siren is from 1957 and it has some issues and limitations,” Riffel said. “Plus with the building being renovated, it will need to be replaced.

“We have three other sirens around the city and one of them, near the Forest Avenue Business Park is battery operated, which I believe is the way to go,” he said. “It has worked well and has a lot of power to cover a large portion of the city.

“I recommend purchasing another battery-operated siren to be placed near the water tower on Western Avenue,” he said. “This would be mounted on a post and would cost a total of approximately $15,673 to install.”

Meyer noted that the siren would be located on a separate 55- foot pole and not directly on the water tower.

Riffel said the new siren would give the city a lot of durability and longevity.

“The batteries last about three to five years and they cost $125 a piece to replace,” Riffel said. “If a storm blows the power out, the siren would still work because it is battery operated.

“Also, it has a great deal of power and could take the place of both of the sirens at the high school and Meadowland Credit, which are from the 1960s,” he said. “If those two go out, we would go out, we would not need to replace them. W would be fine with just the two on Forest Avenue and Western Avenue.”

City Clerk-Treasurer Joel Tauschek said the city has leftover FEMA funds from a tornado that hit the city several years ago, which would cover the $16,000 cost.

“This is money that FEMA reimbursed us for labor and expenses from the cleanup after that tornado,” he said. “We will have ample funds from that to pay for the siren.”

The council approved the purchase of the siren from American Signal Corp. of Milwaukee at a cost not to exceed $16,000.

In other business, the city approved the 2013-14 salary ordinance for non-union employees, which reflects a 2-percent pay increase across the board.

The council also approved an operator license application for Carmen A. Courtright and a mobile home park application for Acacia Falls.

The next Sheboygan Falls Common Council meeting is set to take place Tuesday, March 4, at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers at the City Hall Municipal Building.

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