By Josh Letner
NEOSHO, Mo. —
The Neosho City Council Tuesday night will consider a bid of $108,795 to modify the city’s emergency siren system to meet new federal guidelines and replace the siren in Morse Park with a new digital siren.
Fire Chief Mike Eads said the new digital siren also would play up to 16 prerecorded messages warning park patrons of approaching weather hazards or other potentially threatening situations.
Eads said the upgrades would bring the city into compliance with Federal Communications Commission regulations requiring every city to meet new standards of what is termed “narrowbanding” by Jan. 1, 2013.
The FCC began its narrowbanding effort 20 years ago in an effort to increase the number of channels available within the radio spectrum.
The regulations require licensees to switch from a 25-kilohertz signal to a 12.5-kHz signal by the end of the year. The FCC website states that failure to comply with the regulations could result in fines or the forfeiture of a broadcast license. Emergency services, public utilities, schools, transportation departments and community watch organizations are subject to the deadline.
City Manager Troy Royer said the city knew the deadline was approaching and budgeted $50,000 for the transition.
Royer said it is better to make the upgrades all at once rather than spread them out over two fiscal years. He said that if the city waited until fiscal 2013, which begins Oct. 1, the delay would leave just three months to make the changes before the deadline.
Eads said the upgrades would allow officials to monitor all 11 of the city’s sirens remotely and test them silently. He said the system will be capable of detecting power failures and tampering.
THE NEOSHO COUNCIL Tuesday night will consider bids for fertilizer for the municipal golf course, as well as bids for new water meters, and an asphalt roller and trailer. The council will consider a measure to repeal two ordinances related to water utilities and a request for permission for a fireworks show as part of the annual Relay for Life event.