Cole County to Install New Tornado Sirens

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JEFFERSON CITY - Cole County commissioners have approved a proposal to place new tornado sirens in areas outside Jefferson City. Fifteen new tornado sirens will be added in the county. Presiding Cole County Commissioner Marc Ellinger says that this project is part of a joint effort by the Cole County Commission and the Jefferson City Council.

Ellinger said, "We've worked together. It's a kind of joint city-county partnership that's allowed this opportunity to come. And we felt this was a good time to go ahead, invest the funds in cooperation with Jefferson City and have about 75% of the population of the county covered by warning sirens."

Ellinger listed some of the benefits of the new siren network. He said, "In the event that there's a storm or some other type of event, these new sirens can be turned on specifically where the storm is at. The current, older system that's in place now has to turn on all the sirens at one time, regardless of where a storm is at".

He added, "These sirens also have voice and multiple tone options, which means if there's something besides just a storm, we can actually give voice warnings in the case of, say, a chemical leak or something like that."

As for money, Ellinger said that how much individual communities pay for their sirens depends on their size. He said, "It depends upon the size of the community. It ranges everywhere from a little over $5000 per siren in the smaller communities and up to about $24,000 or so of the 28, $29,000 cost for Jefferson City."

The sirens themselves cost $25,000 each plus as much as $3,000 in additional costs depending on the installation location. Muncipalities pay a portion and the County Commission pays the remainder. The total cost of the project for the county will be around $400,000 to $450,000.

To visit the Cole County Commission's website, click here.