[The Brazil Times nameplate] Fog/Mist ~ 65°F  
High: 86°F ~ Low: 68°F
Monday, Aug. 31, 2015

Officials working on siren safety for future warnings

Monday, February 21, 2005

While the Brazil Township tornado sirens have yet to be installed, city and township officials are working together to ensure the area will receive ample warning before severe weather strikes.

Mayor Tom Arthur and Brazil Township Trustee Marcia Tozer acknowledged that while there have been some communication problems, installing the sirens, which are being stored at the wastewater treatment plant garage in the meantime, is an ongoing project.

Last summer, two Brazil City Council members, who the Mayor said he prefers not to name, approached Tozer about funding. Since she had been conservative with funds, Arthur explained, she was able to help finance the purchase of the sirens.

Arthur said that a funding shortage caused by the sidewalk refurbishment project left the city without money for the sirens, which would cost about $50,000 with poles, installation, maintenance and insurance. City Attorney Joe Trout was working on the legalities of the easements when Tozer opted to use her own attorney in December, the Mayor explained.

While he said he isn't certain of the exact motivation for installing the sirens, it is likely because of the severe storm that hit the Brazil area in July of 2003. While there was no specific target date for installation, he said the sirens will eventually go up in the areas of South Murphy Avenue, Pinckley Street before Chicago Street and North State Road 59.

"I don't think we really actually set a time. We purchased them and it was going to be when all the pieces fell into place," Arthur said.

Meanwhile, Tozer stressed she has not "pulled the plug" on the project, but there may be some financial hurdles to clear before installation of the sirens. The purchase order was issued in 2004, and budget cuts across the state may prove to be a challenge when encumbering the $42,000 in funding.

"I've not called off anything. We're ready to go," she said. "Now appropriations for 2004 have died. What they're not telling you is that governmental agencies are being cut, and priorities will have to be made. I think it's too good of a project to just let die. I'll be darned if I'll let the state have (the funds). They can build that stadium with their own money."

Complications with one of the sites owned by Vectren must also be sorted before additional progress. In her 10 years as a trustee, Tozer said, she has become an expert in township law. She is also using the services of Township Attorney James Deal, whose expertise is in real estate matters.

"There are rules about where these poles can go. We've kind of got the cart before the horse," she said. "Everything is in place but the legal work. Vectren will take a little longer."

She also explained there was a communication breakdown between the city and the township, although the Brazil City Council has been very helpful.

"I think they were waiting for us and we were waiting for them. They've worked right along to make this a reality. And they've worked right along side of us," she said. "I think we were having a communication breakdown between us, and I would consider it nothing more than that."

Regardless of the challenges involved, Tozer said she is determined to see the project through completion.

"We have some hurdles. I think we will have a safer, better community. A few minutes might save your life," she said. "So we're going to see they go up. And that's the bottom line. We're just down to the legal work. We are determined to get at least two of them up before storm season."

If it comes to it, the trustee said she will use her own funds if necessary.

"I'd rather see this money spent on the community from which it came. We were solvent before, we're solvent now and we're going to remain solvent. Everybody's budget has been seriously cut. You have to make priorities and you have to make some tough calls," Tozer said. "One way or another, they're going up. Even if it takes my salary, we're going to do it. If that's what it takes, that's what it takes. I've done it before."

legalities of the easements when Tozer opted to use her own attorney in December, the Mayor explained.

While he said he isn't certain of the exact motivation for installing the sirens, it is likely because of the severe storm that hit the Brazil area in July of 2003. While there was no specific target date for installation, he said the sirens will eventually go up in the areas of South Murphy Avenue, Pinckley Street before Chicago Street and North State Road 59.

"I don't think we really actually set a time. We purchased them and it was going to be when all the pieces fell into place," Arthur said.

Meanwhile, Tozer stressed she has not "pulled the plug" on the project, but there may be some financial hurdles to clear before installation of the sirens. The purchase order was issued in 2004, and budget cuts across the state may prove to be a challenge when encumbering the $42,000 in funding.

"I've not called off anything. We're ready to go," she said. "Now appropriations for 2004 have died. What they're not telling you is that governmental agencies are being cut, and priorities will have to be made. I think it's too good of a project to just let die. I'll be darned if I'll let the state have (the funds). They can build that stadium with their own money."

Complications with one of the sites owned by Vectren must also be sorted before additional progress. In her 10 years as a trustee, Tozer said, she has become an expert in township law. She is also using the services of Township Attorney James Deal, whose expertise is in real estate matters.

"There are rules about where these poles can go. We've kind of got the cart before the horse," she said. "Everything is in place but the legal work. Vectren will take a little longer."

She also explained there was a communication breakdown between the city and the township, although the Brazil City Council has been very helpful.

"I think they were waiting for us and we were waiting for them. They've worked right along to make this a reality. And they've worked right along side of us," she said. "I think we were having a communication breakdown between us, and I would consider it nothing more than that."

Regardless of the challenges involved, Tozer said she is determined to see the project through completion.

"We have some hurdles. I think we will have a safer, better community. A few minutes might save your life," she said. "So we're going to see they go up. And that's the bottom line. We're just down to the legal work. We are determined to get at least two of them up before storm season."

If it becomes necessary, the trustee said she will use her own funds if necessary.

"I'd rather see this money spent on the community from which it came. We were solvent before, we're solvent now and we're going to remain solvent. Everybody's budget has been seriously cut. You have to make priorities and you have to make some tough calls," Tozer said. "One way or another, they're going up. Even if it takes my salary, we're going to do it. If that's what it takes, that's what it takes. I've done it before."



Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: