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Commission OKs weather sirens
By Tom Smith - TNValleyNow.com

RUSSELLVILLE — Franklin County Commission Chairman Barry Moore said action taken Tuesday by county commissioners should have more outdoor weather sirens in place within a few months.

The commission approved bids of $14,000 each for four sirens in the county.

Franklin County Emergency Management Agency Director Roy Gober said there will be 29 sirens countywide when the four additional units are installed.

“That does not count the ones inside the municipalities in the county,” Gober said.

County officials said the grant money is through the Hazardous Mitigation Grant program, an arm of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Moore said the outdoor warning sirens are vital in protecting county residents.

“The more people we can cover with the sirens, the more people can be warned in case of bad weather,” Moore said. “We’re trying to put the sirens in the heaviest populated areas to cover as many people as possible.”

The four sirens will be in the Halltown community, Frankfort Volunteer Fire Department, the East Franklin community near Franklin 38 and Franklin 81, and on Franklin 48 in the Bethsaida community.

The commission also authorized Gober to begin the process of soliciting bids for four more community safe rooms.

“I would like to see them installed before the end of the year, but it all depends on the bids and how quickly they could start the work,” Moore said.

Moore said the county is being proactive in helping it’s residents prepare for severe weather.

In other action, the commission approved a $125,000 grant that will provide a new building at the East Franklin Volunteer Fire Department. Moore said the department sustained damages from the deadly April 2011 tornado.

The Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments helped secure the grant.

Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.

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