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City to get new emergency siren

City to get new emergency siren

By Judy Reed

The old emergency siren behind the Cedar Springs Library will be torn down once a new one is erected in North Park. Photo by J. Reed

The old emergency siren behind the Cedar Springs Library will be torn down once a new one is erected in North Park. Photo by J. Reed

If all goes as planned, the City of Cedar Springs will have a new emergency siren and tower within six months, and it will be paid for by Kent County.

The current tower, which has stood for more years than anyone can remember, was inspected and deemed unsafe on July 28.

FEMA turned down a grant application for the tower, but according to City Manager Christine Burns, she and Chief Roger Parent, and firefighter J.J. Gross went to a meeting on November 17 with a local Kent County planning committee to find out if the county could help them out. “We asked them to pick up the tab and they said yes,” explained Burns. She said they were told funding would be available in three to six months.

The new tower would be located at North Park, and would be connected to central dispatch. However, if residents want to keep the noon whistle, it would not be funded through the county grant. The city would have to come up with the money for that. There is a poll on the city’s website, asking residents if they think the city should spend $500 to keep it. “The results are overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the noon whistle,” related Burns.

She said the new tower, which will cost $19.900, would be erected on city property at North Park in order to cover the greatest area with the greatest density. The area would cover up to just north of Dio Drive to the south, White Creek to the west, Cedar Springs Avenue to the north, and Ritchie to the east. Burns explained that it would cover the mobile home park to the north and the new subdivision just off 18 Mile, both with great density. “We also cover Nelson Township, so we’re getting the most bang for our book,” said Burns.

She said that while it appears on drawings that the new siren would not cover the south portion of town past Dio Drive, people may still be able to hear it if they are outside. “There are people in Solon Township that tell us they can hear it,” she said.

West Shore Services, who will build the tower, recommended another tower at Dio Drive, but Burns wasn’t sure the city council would spring for another one. “They could use leftover bond proceeds, but they have other projects they would like to complete,” she said.

Burns said that their might be some scrap value in the old tower when it’s torn down, and that they would offer the old siren to the Cedar Springs Historical Society if they wanted it.

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