Wednesday, April 18, 2018 (Brookville Star) - Grant-funded sirens enhance Clay areas

(by Marilyn McConahay, Star Staff Writer)


CLAY TOWNSHIP - In the April 4 issue of the Brookville Star, there was an update on the status of the city of Brookville's emergency sirens. Today, we take a look at the sirens in Clay Township.

Both jurisdictions were able to take advantage of grant funds made available through the US  Office of Homeland Security and administered by the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management. These grants allowed participating jurisdictions to share the cost of sirens.

"Originally, the $500,000 was allocated for all cities in Ohio for terrorism equipment. Terror sirens were on of the new items covered by the grant," said Clay Township Trustee Steven Woolf.

After checking with Jeff Jordan, Montgomery County Emergency Manage3ment director, to see if the grant would apply to Clay Township, trustees decided to apply for the grant.

"Of course, I also have a special interest, because I was affected by a tornado myself," Woolf said, "That's when I began investigating tornado sirens."

(A tornado touched down in the area of Woolf's home in 2014, damaging this home as well as some of hi s neighbors' properties.)

He said the sirens under the Homeland Security grant are referred specifically as terrorism sirens, but they can also be effective for other emergencies, including weather/tornado warnings or other disasters.

Woolf and Trustee Dave Vore, who was overseeing emergency management for th township, discovered in 2016 that Montgomery County had received approximately half=f of the $500,000 available to the state.

"That is 50 percent of the funding allotted to Ohio granted to the county!" said Woolf. "The major amount of the available funds was shared in Wester Montgomery County except for Verona, which is in Preble County."

The township applied and received grant funds and voted in September of that year to fund 50 percent of each of the sirens. Areas to be covered are rural areas, including areas to the west, down to Brookville-Phillipsburg and north to protect the business along US Route 40 as well as the KOA campground and Melody 49 drive-in.

As it turned out, the township paid 50 percent of the amount of $21,000 each for the two new sires, at a cost of $5,267.48 each. One is located at the Jacks Lane Industrial Park and one is located directly behind the Clay Township Administration Building on Arlington Road.

In addition, there is a pre-existing siren in Phillipsburg Community Park that will need to be replaced.

It should be noted that these sirens are not intended for indoor protection.

"People are outside a lot during the summer. At the Payless Distribution Center, you could hear it inside the facility, but it really is for outdoors," Woolf said.

People indoors should rely on cell phone apps, as did many who were awakened during the 2014 tornado warning, or on weather radios, he added.

"I'm very relieved to know we have these sirens installed and ready to go to cover Clay Township in advance of the upcoming spring tornado season," said Woolf.