Saline City Council unanimously approved locating an emergency warning siren on the north side of Bemis Road, between Old Creek Drive and Keveling Drive.
The tower will be located between the Dairy Queen and Saline Inn.
The outdoor warning sirens are activated when significant severe weather has been detected (a tornado or a severe thunderstorm with damaging winds confirmed to be in excess of 70 MPH); when a hazardous materials accident occurs that requires immediate protective action by the public, or for other critical events such homeland security emergencies.
The tower is one of three sirens being built in the City of Saline. One is located near Michigan Avenue and Austin Road and the other is located on Ann Arbor Street and Woodland Drive.
This third location was meant for the eastern portion of the city. The location was changed twice. Originally, the siren was to be located near Old Creek. Heeding concerns from residents that the siren was too close to nearby homes, the location was moved to Chelsea Lumber on East Michigan Avenue.
City officials recently learned the location was unfeasible. The number of utilities in the location effectively prevents construction of a siren tower, according to a memo to council from Benjamin Pinette, Emergency Services Planning Coordinator for Washtenaw County.
Council member Linda TerHaar asked if moving the siren back toward Old Creek would present an issue for residents.
Council member Brian Marl said he talked with one of the residents concerned with the original location.
“I do not suspect he would have grave concerns with the current placement of the siren,” Marl said.
The new sirens are being funded by a grant from the Department of Homeland Security. The city will pay about $1,500 annually in maintenance costs.
Former Police Chief Paul Bunten worked with county officials to secure funding for the sirens.