Faulty emergency siren in Paxton to be replaced

PAXTON — A faulty emergency siren on North Union Street in Paxton will be replaced by a refurbished siren for a cost not to exceed $9,500.

The Paxton City Council approved spending that amount for labor and materials after being quoted a price of $8,950 from Fulton Technologies Inc., based in Roselle.

Paxton Emergency Management Agency Director Ed Hanson told the council during its February meeting that the refurbished siren comes with a three-year warranty for parts and a one-year warranty for labor. Hanson said its life expectancy is 20-plus years.

Another option would have been to replace the siren with a new one with similar capabilities. Like the existing siren, the new one would be a “directional siren,” meaning “it doesn’t rotate like one of our other ones.” The cost would have been more than double the cost for the refurbished siren: $19,000.

Hanson said the warranties on the refurbished siren cover such things as “manufacturing and installation defects.” Hanson said the warranty does not cover such things as “power surges, lightning strikes, acts of God, vehicle accidents, animal intrusions or anything beyond (the installer’s or manufacturer’s) control.”

Hanson said the existing Union Street siren is currently “covered in plastic and unhooked to keep it from getting damaged more.” It was determined to be defective when it was inspected last December, Hanson said.

Alderman Mike Wilson asked Hanson how the other emergency sirens in town were working. Hanson indicated that all but the Union Street siren were working fine, but they may need replaced sometime soon.

“The sirens that we have up now are probably at least 20 years old, so at some point in the future we may have to start looking at that, to replace those,” Hanson said. “But right now, we’re in good shape.”

After the council voted to approve the purchase of the refurbished siren, Wilson asked that the council’s public safety committee make a note to determine whether any of the other sirens need replaced and to budget for such an expense accordingly in next year’s budget.

Wilson first motioned for the city to spend up to $9,000 on the refurbished siren, but then Alderman Rob Pacey asked to raise that amount to $9,500, since $9,000 was too close to the quoted amount of $8,950. Wilson then withdrew his original motion and made a second motion to spend up to $9,500. The measure was then approved unanimously.

Hanson said he would work to have the emergency siren installed as soon as possible, “since we are coming up on (tornado) season.”

Hanson reminded the public that the emergency sirens are not meant to be heard indoors.

“These are called outdoor sirens, outdoor warning devices,” Hanson said. “They’re not meant to warn you when you’re in your house.”

Hanson said that anyone who wants to be warned about the weather should not rely on the city’s sirens but instead equip themselves with a weather radio to make sure they are aware of weather-related threats.

“I know I’ve bought a couple for a couple of the elderly residents who had concerns about not being able to hear the siren in their neighborhood,” Hanson said. “And they’ve been really happy with them. Everybody should have a weather radio. They are life-savers.”


Location (3):Local, Paxton, Ford County


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