City votes to extend easements for sirens

Through a collaborated effort between Drew County OEM/911 Coordinator and Monticello Economic Development Commission Director Nita McDaniel, the installation of the new tornado sirens across the county is slated to begin soon.

“We’ve put in many hours working on locating property owners and obtain easements for the installations,” Frisby told the Drew County Quorum Court on Monday and McDaniel reiterated to the Monticello City Council on Tuesday.

McDaniel then asked the members of city council to give Mayor Joe Rogers the authority to sign easement documents tower locations. The city council agreed that the project needed to continue to move forward and unanimously gave their consent.

In March, the Drew County Quorum Court approved the siren proposal during a special called meeting and put an end to weeks of sometimes heated debate over the funding of tornado sirens to cover the county. The vote was 8-1 with Justice of the Peace Rene Knowles the only member voting against the measure.

The proposal, which was approved by then Monticello Mayor Allen Maxwell prior to that meeting, stated that both the city and the county would pay $42,299.40 each to meet the necessary match of the 75-25 percent grant awarded to the county by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to install the sirens. However, those figures would be tweaked over the next two weeks.

In the end, FEMA supplied $351,708.21 for the project. The local match came out to be $117,236.07, bringing the total project cost up to $468,994.28.

“Those municipalities where the sirens will be installed have agreed to pay their portion of the local match,” then Drew County Judge Damon Lampkin said the preceding September when the grant was formally awarded to the county by FEMA.

In the end, the county budgeted $50,000 for the project and the  remaining $67,236.07 will be paid by the other municipals such as Monticello, Wilmar, Jerome, Tillar and Winchester.

Of the 27 towers being erected, four will lie on city property at the Monticello Municipal Airport, at the water tower on Golf Course Drive, at Western Pines Park and at the water tower on Old Troy Road.

The Advance-Monticellonian

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Monticello, AR 71657

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Monticello, AR 71655

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