Siren purchase put on hold

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 23, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &045; Members of city government, the council and finance committee, received updated information on the city’s siren needs during their respective meetings yesterday and decided to look at other options before acting on the issue.

The finance committee was given the first look at the updated needs for

siren coverage in Demopolis. Mayor Cecil Williamson handed committee members a report on the available coverage at present, which showed the city needs six additional sirens for complete coverage of the municipality.

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Interim Fire Chief Tommy Tate said he didn’t know which three areas currently without adequate coverage would benefit the most people by receiving the first round of sirens. He also noted that the sirens in place may be deteriorating already and might have to also be replaced in the not so distant future.

Tate’s comments prompted a discussion of the reliability and maintenance needs that are required for the sirens needed and those in place. Committee member and Councilman Woody Collins said sirens might be reaching a point where they are outdated tools for the function they serve.

Due to the lack of reliability of the sirens, with battery pack issues and the short life span of the sirens in relation to the price, the committee thought other options might better serve the needs of the community.

Mayor Cecil Williamson said the Black Belt Mayors’ Conference was presented with a program that allows a city or county government to call all of its residents at one time and notify them of emergency situations. She said the program could also be utilized to contact sections of the city, without bothering all residents, if only one section needs notification.

Committee member and Councilman Jack Cooley asked the committee to table the matter and look into more up to date ways of notifying the community in the event of an emergency.

The matter was also brought up in the council meeting yesterday evening, and members, at the request of the committee, agreed to table the matter as further research is compiled.