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Thorsby Council discusses weather alert siren

When severe weather presents a danger to residents, there’s never too much warning.

Thorsby’s municipal government, at a Town Council meeting Monday, discussed management of a severe weather alert siren located in the town.

Sirens were installed across Chilton County and maintained by the Chilton County Commission, which has had discussions about shifting its focus away from the sirens and toward a system that can alert residents through telephone calls and text messages.

Commissioners and county employees have expressed concerns about the cost of maintaining the aging sirens and their effectiveness, which is usually limited to residents who happen to be outside.

Thorsby’s Council and Mayor Jean Nelson discussed the possibility of linking the siren in the town to an alert system already utilized by Public Works Director Terry Jackson.

Theoretically, Jackson could manually set off the siren in the event of a severe weather warning, to provide an extra layer of security for town residents.

Town officials said they would study the matter.

In other business, the Council:

•Cancelled the next meeting, which would have fallen on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 18). The next meeting will now be Feb. 1.

•Heard from Nelson that the town’s application for a grant to help with demolition of the old Thorsby School was not approved.

•Heard from Thorsby Fire Chief Lee Gunn that the town’s annual Santa Run was a success.

•Heard from Jackson about a problem with the motor in a pump that is part of the town’s water system. Jackson said a crane may have to rented to pull the pump out its well.

•Discussed the implementation of a card system on the town’s diesel fuel tank. Use of the tank was discontinued because there was no way to account for the fuel being drawn from it, but purchasing fuel from a service station has proven to be more costly. The card system would allow for accounting of the fuel, but it would cost about $3,000 to install.