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Fairmont to buy new siren system

September 25, 2012
Meg Alexander - Staff Writer , Fairmont Sentinel

FAIRMONT - The City Council has authorized Police Chief Greg Brolsma to seek proposals for replacing the city's emergency siren system.

The system was installed in 1993, with some equipment dating back further. Maintaining the outdoor warning system has become increasingly expensive and difficult, and some parts are no longer serviceable.

The police department has been putting money aside since 2008 to replace the equipment, saving up $125,000.

"We've got what we think will be the necessary funds," Brolsma said.

The new system will be able to utilize some existing infrastructure, which will save the city money.

The effectiveness of the CodeRED weather warning also translates to additional savings of $50,000 to $70,000, since the city will be able to choose a simple emergency siren system.

The garbled voice of the dispatcher - sounding suspiciously like Charlie Brown's teacher - will be gone, as will 3 of 10 sirens. The replacement sirens will be louder and longer, while still falling within federal decibel guidelines.

Also on Monday, the City Council:

o Approved establishing a tax-increment financing district to assist Kahler Automation with a business expansion. The tax break will save the Fairmont-based company an estimated $26,000 per year for the eight years.

o Approved a homecoming parade permit for Fairmont Area Schools at 4 p.m. Friday. The parade will start at Ward Park and head north on Downtown Plaza to Fourth Street.

o Accepted a low bid of $142,000 from M.R. Paving of New Ulm for Safe Routes to School improvements. The bids were about 20 percent higher than estimated, but the city was able to get additional federal funds to cover the cost. The city's cost is $15,000.



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