Some long-awaited and exciting news is developing at City Hall. Last week City Manager Jarrett Atkinson presented his annual budget to council members. Among the many expense proposals is an outdoor warning system. That’s right, tornado sirens. You have seen me urge city leaders to make sirens a priority for a decade. Finally, it appears they may be doing just that.
Mr. Atkinson is asking for just under $1 million to purchase and install the equipment. A price tag several million dollars less than previous estimates and a fraction of the city’s proposed $877 million budget. It is a small price to pay for a system that has proven to save lives. Plus, Atkinson says we can do this without raising the tax rate.
I don’t know where most of my tax dollars go, but this is money well spent.
Although our elected officials have discussed the need for tornado sirens in recent years, it is refreshing to see a city manager that is following through and finally putting it on the table, front and center, once and for all. But he can’t do it without approval from council members.
Two years ago, Mayor Dan Pope said this about sirens, “We’re elected to try and make decisions to best provide safety for our citizens.”
Mayor, now’s your chance. Approve this outdoor warning system for all citizens, as presented, without a tax increase.
We will be watching the vote of every council member with much anticipation.
And thank you City Manager Atkinson. This is long overdue and well worth it.
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‘Consider This’ is a commentary by KCBD Vice-President and General Manager Dan Jackson.