New siren will improve tornado safety in North Vernon

North Vernon residents can expect to soon have a better chance of hearing warnings about approaching tornadoes. Last night, the North Vernon City Council agreed to pay most of the costs associated with a new tornado warning siren.

Jerry Shepherd, director of the Jennings County Emergency Management Agency, asked the council for $22,000 for a new siren. He says that the total cost of the siren, and installation, is $24,152. Shepherd told council members that the balance will be paid for by the county agency.

Shepherd says that the city has several options on where the new siren is placed. One option is to replace the current siren, located near the downtown post office, with the new one. The second option was for the city to purchase a second siren, with one being placed near Fire Station #62 and the other at the county EMA building at 925 South State Street in North Vernon.

Council members Connie Rayburn and Jack Kelley brought up a third option — keeping the current siren and installing the new one in an area that would provide coverage for the entire city. Rayburn noted that the city wasn’t in the financial position to purchase two new sirens, especially if one is still working.

The council approved the plan to buy one siren and will discuss where it will be placed at a later date.