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DePue will wait until next tornado season for sirens

DEPUE – Although DePue’s ongoing siren project is making progressive strides, the village board has learned their sirens won’t be in the ground and ready to blare until next tornado season.

Chamlin and Associates engineer Don Bixby met with the board on Monday and explained new sirens take anywhere from 12 to 18 weeks to be delivered.

“Nobody stocks them. Nobody inventories anything. They want you to order it and then they build them,” he said. “Obviously we’re going to miss this whole season. We are looking at next year’s tornado season when we’d have things in and operational.”

The plans and specs for the project are still underway and are about 90 to 95 percent completed, according to Bixby. He said final plans will be completed once details from a recent meeting with village president Eric Bryant, village fire chief Steve Rauh and a communications representative are finalized and put together.

In the meantime, Bixby recommended the village put together an “alternates list” of items that could be purchased if the siren bids come in lower than the $100,000 grant money the village has to spend.

“With the grant money, you want to spend it all,” he said.

Items Bixby suggested was putting out contract bids for removing the old sirens once the new ones were in place or purchasing a generator for the radio base as a back-up when the electricity might fail.

“It’s whatever might be an advantage to the community,” he said.

Board trustee Dan Hoffert said if a generator is purchased to make note it would include an automatic transfer vs. a manual transfer.

“The cost difference isn’t huge, but it’s well worth whatever you’d spend,” he said.

Once the old sirens are removed, Bixby said they will be salvage and available to the village if it wishes to scrap the materials.

The village will be installing a siren in Oak Brook, replacing the siren in White City and moving the siren location near the village shed to Firemen’s Park.

In other news, the board:

• Reorganized and sat new board members Bill Laicoff and Chuck Casford.

• Approved the hiring of Mark Olszewski as full-time village police officer and Brad Foster as part-time village police officer.

• Accepted a bid from Scheri Electric for $89.70 to upgrade the lighting in the wastewater treatment plant.

• Approved a special event liquor license for the DePue Men’s Club.

• Approved a $100 donation for Healthy Kids Camp at St. Margaret’s Hospital in Spring Valley.

• An electronic recycling drive will take place in the village from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Bryant warned the company organizing the drive will charge people wishing to recycle old televisions. The price will be anywhere from $15 to $25. “You can recycle televisions, it’s just going to cost you,” he said.

• Board trustee Gerald Favero reminded the public the village has an ordinance against dumping grass clippings on the street.

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