Grant may help Calera add four severe weather sirens

The city of Calera may soon install four new tornado sirens thanks to an emergency preparedness grant.

Calera Fire Chief Tommy Moon is awaiting final approval of federal funding.

&8220;Since out city is so spread out, we&8217;ve been tentatively approved for four,&8221; said Moon.

The sirens would be installed at Fire Station No. 2 on George Roy Parkway, Waterford subdivision on Alabama 70, Shelby Springs on Alabama 42, and just inside the Chilton County line on County Road 95.

Currently, the city has just two sirens: one at the Calera City Hall and another at Salem Cemetery off Shelby County 63.

&8220;We have a lot of areas that don&8217;t have outdoor warning and safety strategies in place,&8221; said Moon. &8220;Hopefully with these new sirens, we&8217;ll have ample warning for people outside.&8221;

Back in February, the council voted to pay $14,000 in matching funds with the Shelby County Commission.

Moon said the city is getting quite a bargain since he estimates the entire project will cost more than $100,000.

&8220;Our part, even the county&8217;s part, will be minimal,&8221; said Moon.

City leaders said they would amend the 2007 budget if necessary to secure the grant.

&8220;As important as they are, we&8217;ll come up with the money, even if we have to borrow it,&8221; said Councilman Bobby Joe Phillips.

Moon has applied for the tornado siren grant repeatedly since 2002.

The fire department should learn later this year if Calera will receive the money. Installation could begin as soon as this fall or early 2008