Delaware County Emergency Management Agency was approved Monday by county commissioners to take ownership of Delaware city’s early warning system.
County EMA will take immediate ownership of the city’s radio and frequencies to activate the warning system throughout the county.
“Many other jurisdictions are wanting to tag onto this system,” said Sean Miller, director. “What I mean is, recently Genoa Township has installed a siren that has come on board to this radio system which is activated here in the (Commissioners) building in the Delaware County Emergency Management Center.”
Miller said the villages of Ashely and Sunbury recently have added their early warning system sirens.
“There are other entities even outside of the City of Delaware who have wanted sirens added to this,” Miller said. ”The benefit for them is they don’t have to have anyone at the fire station or where ever it is to set their siren off.”
Miller said the agreement is for the radio and the frequencies only and the sirens will “remain under the purview” of the city. “We will assume maintenance cost for the radio,” he said.
Commissioner Jeff Benton said he has had comments from residents in the county about sirens going off in some areas and not others.
“Is this structure going to make the siren countywide?” Benton asked. “Would you manage countywide or still only certain parts of the county?”
Miller said in 2009 a levy for a countywide system was “defeated pretty soundly.” He said since that time the EMA has been working with jurisdictions to help find funding for the sirens.
“We’re working with jurisdictions to identify locations that they want to put sirens up at,” Miller said. “We were able to secure some grant funding for the four sirens at the state parks which went up in 2011 or so.”
Miller said the EMA is trying to utilize all possible funding sources to put up additional sirens.
“One of the misconceptions around sirens is they are designed to alert you in your home. That’s not the case,” Miller said. “One of the teaching points we try to get out there is these are truly outdoor warning sirens.”
Miller said with current technology, warning systems have changed greatly. As an example, cell phones can receive tornado alerts.
Miller counted off 15 sirens within Delaware County plus one in Ostrander that is activated by the fire department. He said Liberty and Orange townships currently do not have sirens within their individual jurisdictions.
In other business commissioners:
• Appointed Dan Curtis as deputy apiarist (beehive inspector) for the county at the sum not to exceed $15,000.
• Proclaimed March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness month in Delaware County.
• Approved the plat subdivision for Glenmead section one in Berlin Township to Romanelli and Hughes Building Company.
• Approved a sewer revision for the Courtyards at Maxton.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.