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Today is Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Sirens in Munford still not working

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The Munford and Atoka Fire Department has been having problems with malfunctioning tornado sirens for more than a year. 

“The weakness in our sirens was apparent this morning,” mayor Dwayne Cole said during Monday's Munford Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting. 

Severe weather came through the area Monday morning and a tornado warning was issued for Tipton County and the surrounding areas. 

Munford Fire Chief Alan Barkelew said he has plans to meet with representatives from Tupelo, Miss.-based Precision Communications today to address the issue. 

“There are still several sirens not working,” Barkelew said. 

There are a combined nine sirens in Atoka and Munford and only four are operational. 

“We've had numerous problems with them,” Barkelew said. “Every time we turn around something goes wrong with them … we've spent a lot of money working on them.”

While sirens can be helpful, Barkelew said people should not rely on them when there is a threat of severe weather. 

“They are really for people who are outside,” Barkelew said. “There are apps you can get on your phone. You can buy a weather radio, which are pretty cheap.”

When there is a tornado warning, somebody at the fire department has to manually turn on the sirens. 

There have been occasions, Barkelew said, when firefighters were out on a call and have not been able to set off the sirens. 

“Hopefully, with this meeting, we're going to figure out why they keep going out,” Barkelew said. 

In other matters:

• Renee Wooten, who was hired as Munford's new city recorder March 31, was sworn in during the meeting. 

• The second reading of an ordinance to increase the city's water and sewer rates was approved unanimously. The increase, which will appear on bills in July, is between 27 and 30 percent, depending on usage and other factors. Cole said the average bill increase will be $8. 

• City manager Peter Colin announced that the city's Independence Day celebration will be held July 2. 

• Parks and Recreation director Glen Beard said 18,000 eggs were distributed during last month's Easter egg drop at Valentine Park. He also reported that a baseball tournament last weekend at Centennial Park grossed approximately $25,000 and included 48 teams. 

• Cole said that paving will begin this week on Maple Hill Road and Charles Place and will last approximately 30 days. 

• National Prayer Day will be celebrated in Munford today at 6:30 p.m. at City Park. 

• The board May meeting was moved to May 27 because of Memorial Day. 

• An ordinance was passed on first reading that clarifies regulations for campaign signs. Signs can be put out 90 days before early voting and must be removed seven days after the election. The maximum size for signs is 32 square feet. 


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