July 25, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Brunswick Council OKs money for return of tornado sirens

City Council agreed Monday to spend $24,554 to get Brunswick tornado sirens up and running. The cost includes upgrades to digital encryption radios to prevent hackers from gaining access to the ­system.

In 2008, Council shut off the sirens after repeated attacks from hackers had them sounding false alarms in the early morning hours.

“It puts them back to how they were used before, hopefully with better security,” said Rob Marok, the city’s information technology administrator.

Council approved the motion unanimously Monday night, with little discussion.

The action came after two tornadoes struck northern Medina County earlier this month. In June, a tornado touched down in city limits, damaging at least 40 homes.

Resident Don Keister thanked Council for responding to resident concerns.

“For $24,000, I think it’s a no-brainer,” he said.

The amount approved by Council includes new batteries and a digital upgrade to the city’s six sirens, as well as to two sirens in Brunswick Hills Township operated by the city.

The city plans to ask Brunswick Hills to reimburse the city $5,138 for its share of upgrades. City Manager Anthony Bales said township trustees supported restoring the sirens in earlier conversations.

The city’s share of expenses includes $4,000 for hardware upgrades that may be necessary once power is restored to the sirens.

“We won’t know for sure until we get power restored and start checking them,” Marok said.

Marok said police, instead of the fire department, will activate the new system.

In other actions

Council members accepted bids for two road projects to begin in September.

The first project is a $462,734 for repairs to the south side of Boston Road. The city earlier appropriated money for the project after setting aside funds in savings for the last five years.

Finance Director Todd Fischer cheered the work, noting Strongsville made repairs to its side of Boston Road in 2009, highlighting the need for repairs on the Brunswick side.

“For the last five years, the city has been trying to restore its
financial infrastructure with a plan,” he said. “Tonight is the first time we see the results of that.”

The other project bid approved was $354,890 for repairs to concrete throughout the city. Of that money, $287,690 in general fund money will be used for road repairs and $67,200 in stormwater utility funds collected from utility customers will be used to repair 85 catch basins around the city.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com. Follow her on Twitter @lorengenson.

Loren Genson About Loren Genson

Loren Genson was The Gazette's senior reporter. From August 2012 through September 2015, she covered Brunswick city and state and national government. To contact The Gazette, call the managing editor at (330) 721-4065.