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April 19, 2013

New Albany council won’t bond paving

City might purchase more tornado sirens




Council may buy tornado sirens

Phipps has discussed the need for more tornado sirens in New Albany during recent council meetings, and Thursday he brought a price estimate before the body. 

He said that according to Terry Herthel, executive director of the Floyd County Emergency Management Agency, it would cost $45,783 to install two sirens in the city. 

Phipps said Herthel suggested the new sirens be placed at Bicknell Park and the Spring Street fire station if the council elects to purchase the equipment. 

According to Phipps, Floyd County bought the sirens that are now in place in New Albany, but he added that doesn’t mean the county is responsible for buying additional tornado warning systems. 

Councilman John Gonder said it would be unlikely that the county would pay for the equipment based on its recent funding shortfalls. 

However some council members including Kevin Zurschmiede said the county should at least be asked if it will pay for new sirens. 

“I don’t think we should have a blanket policy that the county’s broke so we shouldn’t ask them for anything,” he said. 

Councilwoman Diane McCartin-Benedetti said she had spoken with a Floyd County Commissioner about using 911 funds to make the purchases, but that he said it wasn’t related to emergency dispatch spending. 

Council Attorney Matthew Lorch said he would meet with Phipps so they could prepare a letter to send to the county about the matter. 

While waiting on the county’s response, Gonder said the council should start the process on its own funding measure for the sirens under the assumption the city will have to foot the purchases. 

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