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Downtown warning sirens to be upgraded

Emergency sirens should be easier to hear in the older neighborhoods of Hudson in the near future.

The City Council on April 9 authorized spending up to $4,000 to connect the sirens atop the Public Safety Building and behind the high school to the county radio-controlled system.

People in the downtown area often have trouble hearing the Eighth Street warning siren because of atmospheric conditions, the relatively low height of the siren and competing traffic and other noise, said St. Croix EMS Chief Eric Christensen.

Christensen was making his last appearance at a council meeting before leaving for a new job as emergency services director for Door County.

He said there have been complaints over the years from people who didn't hear the sirens warning of an approaching storm.

Requests to upgrade the sirens were made over the past few years, but ended up being cut from the budget.

"I think it is an important thing that we get done," Mayor Alan Burchill said during a Finance Committee discussion of the request that took place immediately before the City Council meeting.

Public Safety Committee members Mary Yacoub and Lee Wyland concurred with Burchill during the council meeting.

Christensen said the siren on top of the Public Safety Building has to be activated by hand and doesn't sound unless a firefighter or other public safety worker is at the building.

The siren near the high school is activated via a phone call from the St. Croix County Communications Center, he said.

Once the new equipment is installed, the county dispatch center will be able to activate all the sirens by radio.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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