September 19, 2021

Supervisors approve siren for Dogwood

Residents who live in northwestern portion of Creston, and beyond, will have a new tornado siren in the area according to Union County Emergency Management Director Jo Duckworth.

Duckworth told the Union County Board of Supervisors Monday a grant will help pay for a portion of a tornado siren to be installed on Dogwood Avenue, which intersects with Highway 25. The street is west of Greater Regional Health and McKinley Lake.

“That one out there had not been working,” said Supervisor Ron Riley.

The $20,720 bill covers the pole, siren, infrastructure and back up power in case electricity to the siren is out. Duckworth said the grant and state will pay for 85% of the bill. The county is asked to pay $3,108 of the total. Supervisors approved the proposal.

Supervisor Rick Friday questioned the Dogwood Avenue siren replacement when other parts of the county do not have a siren. He said Shannon City Council has asked him about getting an emergency siren and wondered what the county could do.

Duckworth said she too has had informal conversations with Shannon City representatives.

“They do not have the money to come up with their share,” Duckworth said.

Duckworth said the Dogwood Avenue siren should be heard by approximately 300 residents in the vicinity. She did not know an exact date when the siren will be installed, but said, “soon.”

Arispe, Cromwell, Afton and Lorimor have sirens. Thayer does not have an operable siren which Duckworth said can’t also fund maintenance. A siren is in the area near what was the municipality of Kent. She is willing to help those towns without sirens with grant applications.

Duckworth encouraged people to register for the county’s alert system which are connected to cell phones.

“They get it on their cell phone if they are home,” she said.

Union County Engineer Keith Wieland told the Creston News Advertiser after the meeting he is working on contracts with Calhoun Burns for estimates to replace the railroad overpass on Redwood Avenue east of Afton. He said BNSF would like an estimate.

“Once we get that rolling, we will get it sent to BNSF and have them get us a contract,” he said.

County officials have had discussions with the railroad about improving railroad overpasses in the county. Another estimate is expected to be done for the overpass in Thayer.

Wieland said the Redwood Avenue overpass averages 44 vehicles a day according to recent traffic counts.

“We have lots of roads and bridges barely used,” he said. “This one is middle of the road.”

He said the use of that section of Redwood is similar to 150th east of Creamery Road, sections of 205th and Jaguar Avenue.

John Van Nostrand

JOHN VAN NOSTRAND

An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.