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Reas wants 2 more warning sirens

Additional emergency warning sirens may soon be placed throughout the county, enabling more residents to be warned of threatening severe weather. It depends on funding approval.
Harrison County Emergency Management Agency Director Greg Reas asked the county commissioners at their Oct. 18 meeting for permission to approach the county council for funding for two additional sirens, bringing the county’s total to 22.
‘We seem to have gotten some good use out of this project the past year, unfortunately,’ Reas told the commissioners, recalling the severe spring storms.
Reas requested $15,500 to purchase and install the new sirens. The cost of the project would be higher, but former Corydon resident Eloise Keller Beardsley of Bloomington has offered to fund half the cost of the siren for downtown Corydon.
‘Coverage isn’t great downtown,’ Reas said.
Commissioner Jim Heitkemper said, ‘It’s wonderful that (Mrs. Beardsley) has decided to help us out. Thank her for us, will you?’
‘The Corydon siren would be electronic as opposed to mechanical,’ like the existing 20 sirens throughout the county, Reas said. Electronic sirens have more potential uses besides acting as an indicator of severe weather, Reas said.
The second siren would be installed in the Bradford/Sennville area, Reas said.
If funding is approved soon, the sirens, which are built at time of order rather than kept in stock, could be in place by spring, Reas said.
While the additional sirens would expand the warning system’s coverage area, there would still be ‘dead’ spots throughout the county, he added.
‘We’ve tried to get the sirens located in populated areas and at the schools,’ he said.
The bulk of the existing sirens were installed in early 2001.
When Reas made his pitch to the county council Monday night for the $15,500, the council asked him how much it would cost to install sirens that would cover the entire county.
Reas will return with a recommendation on the number of sirens needed and the cost to install them.
In other matters before the county commissioners on Oct. 18:
‘ Jesse Bohall asked if a noise ordinance could be established for Harrison County. ‘I think it’s time our commissioners consider some type of ordinance’ with a minimum $50 fine for violations and further penalties for repeat offenses, he said. Bohall said he didn’t think he was asking for a miracle but a way to control ‘abusive people who’s raising hell … ‘
Harrison County Planner Eric Wise said an existing ordinance addresses sound generated by activity at places like factories. ‘It’s very difficult to enforce this,’ he said, adding that he would research existing ordinances in other areas to see if something could be adopted for Harrison County.
‘ In response to asking who owns the old iron bridge east of Leavenworth, Phil Robertson was directed to the Crawford County Board of Commissioners. Robertson is spearheading a movement for a bike/horse/pedestrian trail between old Leavenworth and New Albany. He said several means are available to help finance such a project that could include about seven miles of trail free from motorized interference.