Don't be alarmed, but the village of Saukville is now ready to operate its upgraded outdoor warning system after a Milwaukee-based company donated the time and materials need to do so.
American Signal Corporation offered to upgrade the villages warning system for free in spring 2011, when village officials were debating getting rid of the sirens because of funding and a cultural shift to relying on technology for weather and other alerts. The work was completed in late summer, according to an Ozaukee Press article.
The company’s generosity gives the village of Saukville what Emergency Management Director Jack Morrison called "top of the line sirens."
The federal government mandated an upgrade to a narrow-banded frequency range for all warning systems in the country, Morrison said, and if upgrades weren't made the systems were to be shut down.
The village board met in February to debate removing the weather alert system entirely and that's when a representative from American Signal paid a visit, and saved the warning system.
If the village had to pay for these upgrades on its own, the cost could range from about $2,500 to about $5,000, Morrison said.
“Looking at it, we were trying to save money,” Morrison said, but after members of the community expressed their desire to keep the system operating at the February meeting, the village had to think again.
The village now has two-way sirens — sirens that both alert the public when sounded by the police department or sheriff and that can send feedback to the stations about battery life and other electronic readings.