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Tornado siren in Spencer Township to be relocated

By Sarah Read

This 25 foot tower on private property on the corner of 18 Mile Road and Hemlock Street has secured Spencer Township’s emergency siren for eight years. After noise complaints, officials ruled the siren will be relocated a few houses down to the Fire Department, on the corner of 18 Mile Road and Meddler Avenue.

There is no doubt that residents of Spencer Township want to be warned if a tornado is approaching. The question is where the warning should come from. For the last eight years, the emergency siren has been located on a 25-foot tower on a residential property on the corner of 18 Mile Road and Hemlock Street. At least one landowner recently took issue with the location of the siren being on private property. “There was a complaint that it was too noisy,” explained Chris Lange, Spencer Township groundskeeper and fireman. “I’d rather know if something’s coming, so at least I can take cover.”

Lange’s property, a few houses east of the Fire Department on the southern edge of Lincoln Lake, is where the siren was placed back in 2002 after lying dormant and unused for 10 years. According to Lange, when the Harvard Fire Department split in 1992, the siren went to Spencer but stayed dormant in their barn until he took the initiative to get it up again.

In addition to emergencies, the siren also sounds the first Friday of every month at noon.  The issue of the siren’s location was discussed at last week’s monthly board meeting. “Why was it put up on private property to begin with?” board member Judy Geglio asked.

No one seemed to have the exact answer, but board member Albert Frandsen commented, “Where it’s at is about as centrally close to the middle of the township as you can get.”

Township officials passed a motion to move the emergency siren from the residential private property to the Spencer Fire Department, approximately .01 miles west at 12131 18 Mile Road on the corner of Meddler Avenue. They also discussed usage of a second dormant siren owned by the Fire Department if it is still in working order. The current tornado siren will still be in active use for safety reasons until the Fire Department relocates it.

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