No decision on the fate of tornado warning sirens in Drew County was made by the Quorum Court which tabled a resolution adopted in March regarding the sirens.

According to the Advance Monticellonian newspaper, it costs about $20,000 a year to maintain the 27 sirens across the county.

Drew Griffin, director of the Drew County Office of Emergency Management said the initial costs for the towers was $435950 and was paid for with a grant. He said the system worked well for the first three years but then maintenance and cost of the towers kicked in.

He said costs include:

  • Four batteries per tower at $70 each with an 18-month warranty.
  • Transmitter radio, one for each tower at $20 each
  • Four chargers per tower, one for each battery, at $70 each.
  • Charger for board inside tower, one per tower at $40.
  • 10 Fuses

Griffin went on to say that the sirens are not automated, and OEM personnel must be in the building watching the news for warnings to activate the sirens.

He said the company that put the sirens in sent a quote offering to come back and set the sirens up with A/C and D/C with a battery back-up so that if the power goes out, the batteries kick in. That upgrade would cost about $225,000.

The newspaper reported that the Quorum Court will seek other options and research before making a final decision.