City council requests hard numbers from storm warning task force - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

City council requests hard numbers from storm warning task force

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The Lubbock City Council held a special meeting Tuesday evening to discuss Lubbock's severe weather preparedness.

The Tornado Warning System Task Force made their first recommendation.

"It's going to take a multi-pronged approach," said Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson. "It looks like the recommendation tonight is to go to a mass notification system, combined with a siren system."

The task force analyzed Lubbock's current emergency system and told the council what needs to be improved. The questions now for the city council are how much will it cost and how does the city pay for it.

"We need city staff to go back out, do RFPs, get us a good, hard cost and come back to where we have more facts," Mayor Robertson said. "It may be that this is taken to the voters in a bond election and let the people that are going to have to pay for it decide, or this council could decide to issue C.O. bonds. I'm not willing to decide at this point until I can see better numbers."

The task force has received recommendations that say between 20 and 90 tornado sirens needed in the city. They believe that will cost between $6 and $8 million, plus more for future maintenance.

They also considered the idea of smaller sirens in large public spaces combined with the mass notification system, but Councilman Todd Klein believes that should be for the public to decide.

"I think we would be remiss not to look seriously at adopting any and all of these aspects," he said. "I think the public's really got to give us some strong and clear direction and we need to move quickly on all of this. When it comes to $4 million and a budget our size it's not can we do it, but what is the priority of the public."

Once concrete bids are received the next step for the council is to vote on what to install. Klein believes whatever they choose won't be perfect, but it will help save lives.

"There is no panacea, there's not a perfect solution. The last thing we want to create is a false sense of confidence on any issue."

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