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Newton adding two new outdoor warning sirens

Published: Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 10:21 a.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 11:25 a.m. CST

Two new outdoor warning sirens were approved for purchase to cover portions of southeast and southwest Newton. City council approved the sirens from Radio Communications Systems of Waterloo for $40,320 during its Monday meeting.

The new warning sirens replace the sirens at the intersection of South Eighth Avenue East and East 15th Street South and at 608 S. Eighth Ave. W. The current sirens are 128-decibel rotating sirens from the early 1970s and were recommended to be replaced. Recently, there have been issues with the sirens not functioning property and due to their age, repair parts can no longer be purchased.

The aged sirens will be replaced with 130-decibel rotating sirens. With the siren at the intersection of South Eighth Avenue East and East 15th Street South will remain in the same place and the siren at 608 S. Eighth Ave. W. will move to the 1100 block of West Fourth Street South, between the high school football field and Maytag Park.

“Over the past few years we have been replacing our aging outdoor warning sirens and the locations at which they were located to increase cover throughout the City of Newton,” city administrator Matt Muckler said. “With the increased decibel level of the new outdoor warning sirens, increased coverage can be attained with fewer sirens and changing locations.”

Two bids were received for the warning siren with DANCO Emergency Equipment Co, Snyder, Neb. coming in at $43,344 and the selected low bid coming in about $3,000 less from Radio Communication Systems. Funds from the 2017 bond will be used on the project.

Public works director Jody Rhone said with the installation of the two new warning sirens, there is one on the far southwest side of Newton at West 15th Street South and South 20th Avenue that will no longer be needed due to the increased range of the new sirens.

“We are going to leave it there because it is still functioning but it has a really small radius and when it stops working we probably won’t replace it,” Rhone said.

The completion date for the installation of the outdoor warning sirens is April 1 but Rhone said the contractor is confident the sirens will be in place prior to the end of 2017.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com