Posing with one of Van Wert’s emergency sirens is (from the left): Van Wert Mayor Don Farmer, Safety-Service Director Jay Fleming, VWCS Superintendent Ken Amstutz, and Van Wert County EMA Director Rick McCoy. (Times Bulletin/Lindsay McCoy)
VAN WERT - The upgrade of emergency sirens in the city of Van Wert is going on this week, according to Rick McCoy, Director of the Van Wert County office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management. This upgrade includes the installation of one new siren and the relocating of three others. The work is being done with federal funds obtained through Homeland Security. McCoy noted that the project has been in the planning stages for around three years and the funding from a federal grant covered the entire cost of the upgrade so that no local money was needed.The upgrade includes a new federal signal siren at a cost of nearly $18,700. This siren will be placed at the Jefferson School building on Buckeye Drive in Van Wert to cover the southeast side of the city. This siren will be replacing the current siren at Franklin School which must be removed due to the coming demolition of the building.
McCoy said the siren that is at Franklin School will be moved to Smiley Park at a cost of $2,900. This move is being made to cover the southwest side of the city with the removal of the siren at Washington School. That building is also set to meet the wrecking ball. The 1975 Civil Defense siren now located at Washington will be refurbished and moved to the Village of Venedocia for a cost of $5,775.
McCoy feels the repositioning of sirens into this new layout will give Van Wert good coverage for anyone outside. Sirens in Van Wert will now be located at the County Engineers facility at Kear and John Brown roads, Jubilee Park, the Times Bulletin offices at Fox Rd. and Industrial Dr., Jefferson School and Smiley Park. McCoy noted that all of the city sirens now have a back-up system so if the power goes out, they will still give a warning signal for an additional 30 minutes.
McCoy thanked Van Wert Mayor Don Farmer and Safety Service Director Jay Fleming, Superintendent Ken Amstutz and Randy Stemen from the Van Wert City Schools , and Venedocia Mayor Larry Eutsler and Randy Koenig, the owner of Ohio Electro Polishing Company in Venedocia where the siren will be located.