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Tornado sirens on way to county rural areas

By Alan McArthur
Landmark reporter

Tornado sirens are on the way for many areas in unincorporated Platte County.

The commission on Thursday approved agreements for placing 10 sirens at various locations around the county from between Parkville and Riverside to as far north as New Market.

In 2008's budget, the county allocated $200,000 for the purchase of new sirens and another $200,000 is coming from the building permit fees for the second Kansas City Power and Light Iatan power plant.

The Platte County Sheriff's Department is purchasing the sirens and has worked with the commissioners to set up easement agreements in the county.

The ten locations are: at the intersection of 52nd Street and Northwood near Houston Lake; in the Misty Woods subdivision at Fisk and Montrose; at the intersection of Eastside Drive and Blair Road; at the Walnut Creek Club House; near the intersection of 76th Street and K Highway; at the intersection of 45 Highway and Waldron Drive; near the intersection of 136th Street and Running Horse Road; at the Hoover Christian Church between 92 Highway and Hoover Road; at Platte Ridge Park; and at the New Market Christian Church.

The group of 10 is part of an initial set of 13 sirens to be stationed around the county. The additional three siren locations are being negotiated with property owners and will be approved later.

“We have the easements for 10 locations,” said Mark Owen, Platte County Sheriff's Department emergency preparedness director. “After we're done we may have more funds for additional sirens.”

According to Owen, many of the churches and club houses will pay the monthly fees for electricity to the tornado siren near them.

“Every piece will help residents in the long run,” said Owen. “Overall we are worried about saving lives, but it's great if we can save money.”

According to Dana Babcock, director of administration, the county hopes to install an additional 10 sirens as long as there are enough funds left over.

The county hopes to install a siren near Bean Lake and also sirens in the 371 Highway corridor and also in the southern area of unincorporated Platte County.

Babcock said county officials have been working with KCP&L and the Platte/Clay Coop to run electricity to the sirens and get them wired.

The commission also approved several agreements with local youth sports groups allowing them to use Platte Ridge Park for baseball, softball, and soccer. The agreements are with the Northland Sports Alliance for the summer of 2008.

The commission approved an agreement to have Glenn Rogers Construction remodel both of the Platte County community centers for a total of $108,850. The centers will remain open and operational while the wellness areas are remodeled and new child watch desks are installed.


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