(Southeast Missourian file)
The city now has four outdoor sirens, and intends to add at least five more. The new sirens would be placed in heavily populated areas to give advanced warning to as many people as possible, said Mark Hasheider, assistant fire chief and emergency management coordinator for Cape Girardeau.
"We want to place them in the really busy areas around the city," Hasheider said. "Places like parks, the mall or other mercantile stores where people are getting in and out of cars and could really use advance warning for emergencies."
The exact location of each siren remains undetermined. However, Hasheider said Federal Signal, the company that installed and maintains the city's current sirens, will set up "demo sirens" to determine optimal locations for the new sirens before any permanent installations, tentatively set for June.
Federal Signal also will provide and install the new sirens. Exact costs have not yet been determined, but Hasheider said the cost for each siren could fall between $18,000 and $23,000, depending on style, location and installation.
Installing emergency sirens is one of the Cape Girardeau City Council's capital improvements projects, funded by money from Isle Casino Cape Girardeau. The council initially set aside $150,000 for the sirens, a number Hasheider said has remained mostly unchanged.
"The city is doing what they can to cut down costs and make the money go as far as possible," Hasheider said. "For example, our city workers are taking care of a few early steps in the installation process that will help decrease some of the overall costs."
Hasheider said he expects to have more accurate figures for costs and completion dates within the next three months.