Tornado sirens await approval, possible grant funding

By Jonathan Delozier -

Three new tornado sirens are still on track to be installed throughout Wellington, ideally by spring.

Police chief Tim Barfield has presented village council with three proposals for the project from two companies: Sentry Siren of Colorado and Federal Signal of Illinois.

Federal Signal’s plan costs $41, 407, which doesn’t include installation.

Sentry Siren put forth two plans — one for $53,516 that includes installation and another for $34,016 that only covers equipment.

Officials are leaning toward the latter Sentry plan and letting village workers handle the installation.

Barfield said one siren would be placed on the south end of town near Parkside Reserve Street, one in the area of Village Market, and one near the Wellington public works department on West Herrick Avenue.

“Ultimately it’s council’s decision,” he said. “We just wanted to lay things out tonight to show them how much they could save by doing the work themselves once we have the equipment.”

Interim village manager Mark Rosemark said $27,000 was set aside in appropriations for the new sirens but that $34,000 is still doable. He also said that new grant money becoming available could ease some of those costs.

“These are still potential grant dollars,” he said. “The last time our department heads got together to talk about this we arrived at a target budget of $31,000.”

The possibility of including other townships in the project has also been mulled over but none have stepped forward at this point, council said.

Fire chief Mike Wetherbee said he is all in for a joint venture if need be and floated the possibility of the South Lorain County Ambulance District also playing a part.

Village councilwoman Sandy Denes said that even if Huntington Township does not contribute to the siren project, residents on its northern end will still benefit from having the new sirens put in.

Mayor Hans Schneider said he expects the project to go forward regardless of whether the village receives help funding it and wants to have it completed before the 2017 tornado season.

“We’re still not sure when it will come before council,” he said. “This grant money was not available when we started to try and put together funding. We’re still planning on going through with it whether all of the money has to come from the village or not. Obviously, our plan is to do it as soon as possible. We’ll see when this funding source is available and then we’ll make a determination.”

Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.

By Jonathan Delozier