Saukville officials accepted an offer from the Milwaukee-based American Signal Corporation to upgrade the village’s emergency sirens at no cost.
The company’s generosity gives the village of Saukville what Emergency Management Director Jack Morrison called "top of the line sirens" without having to pay for costly upgrades.
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 as it was costly to operate and would be costly to comply with the upgrades; however, when a , offering upgrades free of charge, the board thought to reconsider.
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 will be installing 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 — and Morrison said he hopes the upgrades aren't too far away.
"We hope to do the work this winter," he said.