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April 19, 2013

City conducting online poll concerning future of emergency sirens

GREENVILLE — The City of Greenville is asking residents whether they want to continue with the current emergency warning siren system, have the city switch exclusively to an automatic telephone notification system, or come up with something else.

An online poll on the subject is on the City of Greenville Facebook page and on the city’s web site at www.ci.greenville.tx.us/OutdoorSirenPoll.

The poll asks whether the city should upgrade the current system, which is needed to keep it operating at all, at a cost of $70,000; eliminate the system altogether and encourage the use of the CodeRED warning system; or neither, in which case citizens are asked to provide their own suggestion.

The City Council is expected to take a final vote next week on what to do about the siren system.

The siren at the Greenville SportsPark recently had new equipment installed, at a cost of $14,500, just to keep it operating. Although the work has been described as an “upgrade”, the project actually replaced aging and obsolete components with updated equipment in order to keep the siren functional.

The Council has been asked whether it wanted to do the same for the remaining four units under the city’s control, or decide to go in another direction.

The outdoor sirens are designed to create an audible sound to alert people who are most likely outside of life threatening events.

Problems have been noted with the sirens for the past year, following a tornado outbreak across North Texas, which included three twisters in Hunt County. Some local residents said they could not hear the sirens, while some of the units were later found to be inoperable.

Five sirens were installed in 2002 at Graham Park, Middleton Park, Wright Park, the Greenville SportsPark, and Oak Creek Park and were placed into service to warn people that were outside at the park to take shelter.

Two additional sirens at the Greenville L-3 plant are part of the overall system, but are owned and maintained by the defense contractor.

Those wanting more information about the poll or the outdoor warning siren system, can contact the City Manager’s Office at 903-457-3116.

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