Audubon City Council

By Laura Bacon/Staff Writer

The Audubon City Council discussed whether to follow recommendations to only use new sirens for tornadoes, during warm months of the year, but decided to continue using them for emergencies and testing them once a month.

AUDUBON — Audubon residents may soon hear a new addition: three new outdoor warning sirens are being installed this week.

The new sirens will be placed on taller poles and rotate when they go off. Officials noted that the sirens were intended as an outdoor warning system, and are not designed to be heard indoors.

One siren will be installed on a pole near the swimming pool, one will be located by a current siren near the elementary school and one will be located at Davenport and Church streets.

Sirens currently installed around Audubon have reached the end of their useful life — several are not working properly but parts are no longer available, so the council approved purchasing new sirens. The new sirens would cover more area than the current sirens, so less were needed.

The council discussed one issue with the sirens — how they would be used.

Currently sirens are used for fires and emergencies, and are tested regularly, but officials had heard the new sirens should be used for tornado warnings only and not used in winter months. Because the sirens rotate, if the sirens were frozen up when activated, ice could keep them from rotating and could cause a fuse to short out.

Council members didn’t know the possible cost of replacing the fuse, and weren’t sure how to replace a fuse 47 feet up on a pole

That issue was not discussed when the sirens were being selected.

“We were not told they would not work in cold weather,” Mayor Barb Jacobsen said.

The council voted to continue using the sirens for fires, emergencies and testing them monthly.

The new sirens are also louder than the current system, but City Clerk Joe Foran said the company installing them said due to the height of the pole and the rotating effect, they shouldn’t be too loud for homes located close to the poles.