XENIA — Xenia City Council recently authorized the purchase of four new tornado sirens for rural parts of the county.
The Xenia Greene Central Communications Center is responsible for activating the tornado sirens for the city of Xenia and surrounding jurisdictions. Sirens in Cedarville, Clifton, Jamestown and Spring Valley are not compatible with software that will provide the ability for automated activation.
Although tornado sirens are currently manually activated countrywide, the city hopes to move to a system that will automatically activate the sirens in the XGCCC’s jurisdictional areas based on the polygon warnings issued by the National Weather Service.
The sirens — from Federal Signal Corporation of University Park, Illinois — will cost no more than $124,000 and nearly all of that ($121,861) will be covered by American Rescue Plan Act funds, according to city documents.
Council minutes state that the city’s fire division currently uses the Federal Signal Commander software to monitor the health of the tornado sirens in the City of Xenia. The software can be upgraded to the Commander One platform, which will provide the ability for automated activation. XGCCC and the fire division will be sharing the cost of the upgrade to the software.
Federal Signal has propriety rights to the Commander One software; therefore, council recommended that competitive bidding be waived so that the needed sirens be purchased from Federal Signal in order to be compatible with the software. The ARPA grant funding has been receipted into the tornado siren replacement project.
Technically, all tornado sirens must operate on 800 MHz to be compatible with Federal Signal Commander One software. Currently, the sirens that are owned by the City of Xenia and Xenia Township already operate on 800 MHz and can be integrated into the system, however; there are sirens in the villages of Cedarville, Clifton, Jamestown, and Spring Valley that are not compatible and are operating on VHF.