DEPUE — DePue can now put a check mark next to its sirens project, which had been an ongoing deal for years.
Mayor Eric Bryant confirmed on Thursday, despite a few minor kinks which are currently being worked out, the sirens are in the ground and have already been through their first testing. Village residents might have even heard the first tests on Sunday, when the sirens rang out for several minutes.
Bryant explained the new sirens are a benefit for the village, as they serve as a protection against disasters.
“They will be able to alert people and get them in the proper places when tornadoes or other disasters might strike,” he said.
The village was awarded a $100,000 grant from a capital funding bill more than three years ago for the purchase of new sirens. The money was a fortunate opportunity, since DePue’s sirens hadn’t seen any updates in around 20 years. The village had big concerns about their sirens because there was a dead spot in the park district, and there was no siren in the Oak Brook neighborhood. Bryant said when the sirens were first installed, the neighborhood didn’t exist at the time.
“We’re just fortunate we’ve been able to take care of that part of town. We feel a lot better knowing there’s now an alert up there for them, “ Bryant said.
The village’s outdated sirens had operated on a phone circuit. The new sirens are now operating on a radio system, which is more dependable if the phone lines happen to come down during a storm or disaster.
There are three new sirens that were purchased with the grant money. One siren was installed in Oak Brook; the second replaced an existing siren in the White City neighborhood; and the third siren was placed in Firemen’s Park. Bryant said moving the location of the downtown siren has eliminated the dead spot.
The new system also has a public address (PA) system, which can be used to send out messages to residents when necessary. The system will be more convenient and less time consuming than the current system of a police officer driving around to alert residents through the police vehicle PA system.
After the purchase of the sirens, the village had some leftover funds from the $100,000. The board has decided to use the extra monies to purchase a generator for the fire station.
Bryant confirmed the current generator is inoperable and needs to be replaced. The village board has looked at three bids ranging from around $13,000 to $16,000. Bryant said the board tabled action on accepting a bid at Monday’s board meeting because they wanted more time to look into the warranty of each generator.
The board is expected to make a final decision on a new generator at its next board meeting. The generator will supply the fire station with enough power and heating if the electricity fails in the village.
As a side note, the village performs a siren test at 6 p.m. every Sunday.
Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.