The Cole County Commission has approved adding a storm siren in Centertown.
Retired Cole County Emergency Management Director Bill Farr told commissioners March 17 that he had filed for a grant for the siren with the State Emergency Management Agency before he left his position. SEMA recently announced it had approved the grant for $30,000 with no matching funds from the county required, Farr said.
The commission also approved a contract with Outdoor Warning Consultants to install the siren for a total cost of $35,269, with the county and Centertown paying for costs not covered by the grant.
Centertown Board of Trustees President Adam Brown told commissioners the need was recognized after the May 2019 tornado hit Jefferson City.
Last year, Brown said there was a manual fire siren in an old fire station on Broadway Street, but the village is not authorized to use it as a tornado siren.
The new warning siren will include voiced announcements to alert residents of the type of emergency. It must be installed by June 1. There was no word Tuesday on where it would be located.
Farr noted this completes the process the county began in 2012 to make sure unincorporated areas and smaller communities in Cole County have warning sirens. Communities such as St. Thomas, Russellville, Taos, St. Martins and Wardsville received sirens after agreeing to chip in funds.
Sirens were also placed in unincorporated areas around Jefferson City such as along Country Club Drive, Scott Station Road and Zion Road in an effort to reach as many people as possible.