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Trafford civil-defense siren's future up in air

| Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Trafford officials deactivated the civil-defense siren on the soon-to-be-demolished former fire station until they determine how to replace it.

The siren was malfunctioning when it last was triggered on March 26, officials said.

Borough Manager Jeff McLaughlin has been getting price quotes for dismantling the siren from the old station on Duquesne Avenue. He estimated the cost would be between $700 and $1,000 for someone with a crane to remove the alarm.

McLaughlin also is collecting estimates on how much it would cost the borough to refurbish the existing system, which dates back at least a half-century, or buy a new one.

Even if the borough keeps the old siren, a new control panel likely is necessary, McLaughlin said. Officials haven't decided whether to mount a siren to the new public-safety building on Brinton Avenue or to a free-standing pole, he said.

Council likely will discuss the siren at its meeting Tuesday.

“We're trying to weigh what direction is best to do,” McLaughlin said.

Though firefighters can be notified by cellphone, radio or pager, emergency personnel prefer to keep a siren in town.

“I'd rather have it if I was asked, but the fire department is not in a position to pay for it,” fire Chief Brian Lindbloom said. “We have other things we have to pay for.”

Emergency-management coordinator Brian Ellicker told council he thinks a siren is important for notifying residents of serious weather conditions.

“I would hate for something to hit here and for citizens to say, ‘Why weren't we informed?'”

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