So­cial Cir­cle emer­gency sirens ap­proved

The Covington News - - Local news -

The res­i­dents of So­cial Cir­cle will have a lit­tle more fore­warn­ing about im­pend­ing dis­as­ters with the new siren alert sys­tem ap­proved by the city at its monthly coun­cil meet­ing Tues­day.

The city coun­cil unan­i­mously ap­proved buy­ing and in­stalling an emer­gency siren sys­tem to the tune of about $102,000. The money would be taken from a $1.5 mil­lion pool of SPLOST funds des­ig­nated for pub­lic safety im­prove­ments.

Steve Shel­ton, di­rec­tor of pub­lic safety, as­sured coun­cil mem­bers there would likely be enough SPLOST funds to cover the pur­chase be­cause Wal­ton County had in­di­cated it would as­sist­ing in other pub­lic safety ex­penses.

The new sys­tem, which would have three emer­gency sirens in­stalled in var­i­ous lo­ca­tions, has a reach of about 1.5 miles and can broad­cast 16 dif­fer­ent pr­ere­corded mes­sages or can be over­rid­den to broad­cast any mes­sage, al­low­ing res­i­dents to be in­formed as to why the siren is go­ing off and what they would need to do in the case of an emer­gency.

The city coun­cil also ap­proved the pur­chase of two new ra­dios for the SCPSD at the cost of $6,164,

City Man­ager Doug White, who also chairs the Stan­ton Memo­rial Li­brary board, in­formed the coun­cil that the li­brary had placed a re­quest for state as­sis­tance with a pos­si­ble ex­pan­sion.

“There are peo­ple com­ing in that would like to have ad­di­tional ser­vices that we just flat don’t have the room to of­fer in our ex­ist­ing space,” White said.

He said an ar­chi­tect had drawn up sev­eral vari­a­tions of an ex­pan­sion that would try to stick closely to the ex­ist­ing foot­print and would cost roughly $3.5 mil­lion. Ac­cord­ing to fund­ing for­mu­las, the state would chip in about $2 mil­lion and the li­brary would pay the rest.

“All this is pie-in-the-sky at this point with the state bud­get the way it is,” White ad­mit­ted. But, he added, to even get on the list, which has a wait time of about five to seven years, groups need to at least place a re­quest. The state did move for­ward with fund­ing four li­brary ex­pan­sions this year, he said, and the Stan­ton Li­brary’s re­quest was 34th out of 44 re­quests.

In other city coun­cil busi­ness:

• The coun­cil unan­i­mously ap­proved a sum­ma­tion of the or­di­nance amend­ments that have been passed over the last cou­ple years, at the sug­ges­tion of City At­tor­ney Joe Reit­man. This in­cluded amend­ments to the drug and al­co­hol pol­icy for the city’s pub­lic trans­porta­tion work­ers to be in com­pli­ance with state or­di­nance changes.

• Util­ity com­pa­nies will now be re­quired to get a per­mit be­fore dig­ging or do­ing util­ity work in the city’s rightof-way ar­eas.

• The Jim Burgess By­pass was added to a Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion and Depart­ment of Pub­lic Safety list of roads ap­proved to be mon­i­tored with radar.

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