Area lacks storm sirens
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle residents were awakened several nights this week by loud claps of thunder and torrential rains.
What wasn't heard – at least in a large part of the city – was the sound of severe weather sirens.
Currently, there is only one severe weather siren in Hartselle, located on Puckett Road. Sirens do not cover the rest of the city. The sirens would alert residents to bad weather, as well as sending messages in case of a public disaster, such as a chemical spill or terrorist attack.
"We've been working on a grant to help fund a portion of the sirens we need for the city," Mayor Clif Knight said. "We think we qualify for those grants based on a survey of low to moderate income residents."
The city has been working on the grant for more than two years. It should know if it has received the money by June 1.
Knight said the Community Enhancement Grant would pay for five more sirens. Six additional sirens would be needed in order to blanket the city. Sirens cost some $25,000 each.
The city has currently listed $325,000 in its capital improvement plan for emergency sirens, but than plan seems to be in doubt without any form of tax increase.
Still, Knight said the recent turbulent weather has once again brought the matter to a forefront.
"Several years ago, they had a tornado in Arab and they weren't covered by sirens. Suddenly, everyone realized how important it was," Knight said. "Hopefully, we can get some, too."