MONTCALM TOWNSHIP — What started as one storm siren expanded to two, then three … and now the Montcalm Township Board has approved the purchase of a fourth (and final) siren.
The fourth siren, which will be placed near the Montcalm County 4-H Fairgrounds, will be the final in a set of storm sirens which will cover a vast majority of Montcalm Township as well as portions of Eureka Township.
“We’ve covered a majority of our condensed populated areas,” said Supervisor Michael Adams.
By adding the fourth siren the township, which will split the cost of two of them with Eureka Township, the price per siren drops even more than the already discounted price.
New sirens cost approximately $20,000, but Adams said the township was able to get them at less than half the cost because they were refurbished from a company which obtained them through a trade-in from a nuclear plant in Indiana.
Montcalm Township was approved for a $7,740 grant from Montcalm County and partnered with Eureka Township on sharing in the cost of the final two.
The original three proposed locations for the sirens are at the township hall, on South Johnson Road near the Carl Paepke Nature Trail and on Wise Road near Johnson and Youngman roads. The fourth will be installed near the fairgrounds.
The total cost for Montcalm Township for the four sirens will be $21,900. Eureka and Montcalm townships will share in maintenance and battery costs for the two shared sirens.
“This is a great, great program,” Adams said, who has wanted to look into purchasing sirens since the township last had one two decades ago. “It’s always bugged me we didn’t have one.”
The first two sirens, one located at the Montcalm Township Fire Department and the other on South Johnson Road, will be installed Monday, Adams said, but noted it will take time for Consumers Energy to run power to it and for other startup tasks.
Adams said he will notify the public of when the sirens will be tested, which will likely be once a month.