A recently installed tornado siren will be moved after some residents voiced concerns about its location to Moorefield Twp. trustees.
The siren currently sits on Windy Ridge Drive off of Morris Road in the township. The location was chosen to reach the most residents in the area, trustees said. But after it was installed, residents in the neighborhood were upset with the siren’s appearance.
“We were concerned because it is unsightly in a neighborhood where there are no poles, no above-ground utilities,” said Marty Hauf, a Windy Ridge resident who led a petition to relocate the siren. “We were fine with it for safety’s sake, but we really were concerned about hearing damage and for the issue that it would bring down property values.”
The six sirens are Occupational Safety and Health Administration approved and won’t cause hearing damage wherever they are placed, Moorefield Twp. Trustee President Jack McKee said.
“We understand their concerns about its appearance in the neighborhood, but we have a different point of view on (its location) because it’s a life-saving device located in an area that reaches many people,” he said.
Two tornadoes touched down in Moorefield Twp. in the past seven years — one in 2007 and another in 2011.
The siren will be moved around the corner after Eddie Ford, the property owner, volunteered to have it on his lot.
“What if a tornado comes at 2, 3 o’clock in the morning? Who’s up at that time?” Ford said. “This thing here will wake us up and why people don’t want it in their neighborhood is beyond me.”
The new site remains in the area that will alert a maximum number of residents, trustees said.
Moving the siren will add to the cost of the project. The township originally paid more than $150,000 to install the six sirens with money from its general fund and a federal a grant.
The cost to relocate the siren will be less because the new location has an above-ground electrical hook up instead of below-ground, McKee said, but no estimated cost has been determined.
The township will next talk with Federal Signal, the company that manufactures the sirens, and a local contractor to determine when it can be moved. Because Federal Signal works across the East Coast, McKee said it could be months before a date is set.
Hauf and other Windy Ridge residents voiced their concerns to trustees at a meeting in late July and returned Tuesday with a petition signed by more than 70 people. Before they could present the petition, trustees said a relocation plan was in the works.
“With this decision we were able to listen to some citizen’s concerns and make a change, but you really have to look at the community as a whole to figure out what is best,” he said.
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