Additional problems with St. Clair’s two storm warning sirens have forced city officials to look at spending additional money to repair them.
The latest fix — to the siren near Main Street and North Commercial Avenue — would cost about $2,500.
“There is some hope that this will allow both sirens to function as designed,” City Administrator Rick Childers said during the board of aldermen meeting last week.
After the siren didn’t function during a recent test, Childers contacted Radio Comm Co. of Washington. Its bid for a new high-band siren board with receiver carries a $2,311 price tag, and shipping and labor increase the bill to $2,459.68.
St. Clair has had on-again, off-again problems with its warning sirens for the last couple of years. Each time one or both haven’t worked, repairs have been made.
“We have spent roughly half of the cost of completely replacing both sirens so far,” Childers said about those recent repairs. “With the board upgrade proposed, about 75 percent of each siren will be new or recently replaced.”
That comment led Ward 1 Alderman Zach Fuchs to question whether the additional money should be spent on repairs or if the city should look into the cost of getting a new siren.
“It amazes me each time we have to replace a piece of this puzzle how much it costs,” he said.
After a brief discussion, it was decided to check on the costs of a new siren before committing the money to repair the current one.
Childers said he would report back to the board during the next meeting.
Several times during the last couple of years, one or both or the sirens have not worked or have malfunctioned.
In June, in what Childers called a “bizarre” occurrence, the siren near North Main Street and North Commercial Avenue sounded when St. Clair Fire Protection District personnel were called by Central County Dispatch.
The city’s other siren did not wail, nor did the siren in Parkway Village.
In June 2012, the aldermen agreed to spend almost $2,000 to update the other siren, which is located on Highway 30 near the Springfield Road intersection.
That repair also was made by Radio Comm and included a new narrowband controller board.
That fix followed additional problems experienced in January 2012 when the sirens didn’t sound when they were activated for a severe weather warning.