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Time to reconsider decision on city's weather sirens
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What cost is the city of Antigo willing to incur in order to save a few thousand bucks?

That’s the question aldermen are facing today, after some in the community complained that they did not receive notification that a tornado was approaching the area Sunday.

The city decommissioned the sirens—which were creaky and showing their age—a few years ago in favor of Everbridge, a warning system that sends out alerts over telephone land lines and cellular text messages. It’s high-tech and, in theory, blankets the county instead of relying on audible warnings from sirens that not everyone can hear.

But we received several calls Monday from readers saying the system did not provide the needed notification. And with more and more organizations using cellphones to send out messages about everything from coming events to missing children, fewer and fewer people are glancing at their text messages every time their phones buzz.

And—we know some people may find this hard to believe—not everyone is glued to their cellphones.

When aldermen were debating the issue, officials said the cost to replace the sirens and ensure audible coverage across the city at about $48,000—or about $5 per person—plus about $5,000 annually for maintenance. We do not feel that is an unreasonable amount to add another layer of security.

The Everbridge system is always undergoing refinements and improvements and has proven its worth. But we also feel the tried-and-true method that is still in place in communities large and small across the state and nation has a role.

Call us old-fashioned, but sirens work. And people pay attention.
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Time to reconsider decision on city's weather sirens
space
What cost is the city of Antigo willing to incur in order to save a few thousand bucks?

That’s the question aldermen are facing today, after some in the community complained that they did not receive notification that a tornado was approaching the area Sunday.

The city decommissioned the sirens—which were creaky and showing their age—a few years ago in favor of Everbridge, a warning system that sends out alerts over telephone land lines and cellular text messages. It’s high-tech and, in theory, blankets the county instead of relying on audible warnings from sirens that not everyone can hear.

But we received several calls Monday from readers saying the system did not provide the needed notification. And with more and more organizations using cellphones to send out messages about everything from coming events to missing children, fewer and fewer people are glancing at their text messages every time their phones buzz.

And—we know some people may find this hard to believe—not everyone is glued to their cellphones.

When aldermen were debating the issue, officials said the cost to replace the sirens and ensure audible coverage across the city at about $48,000—or about $5 per person—plus about $5,000 annually for maintenance. We do not feel that is an unreasonable amount to add another layer of security.

The Everbridge system is always undergoing refinements and improvements and has proven its worth. But we also feel the tried-and-true method that is still in place in communities large and small across the state and nation has a role.

Call us old-fashioned, but sirens work. And people pay attention.
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2017
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ANTIGO DAILY
JOURNAL
612 Superior Street
Antigo, WI 54409
Phone: 715-623-4191
Fax: 715-623-4193
Mail to: Fred Berner
MapOnUs Location: (local)

WEEKLY
JOURNAL
EXPRESS
612 Superior Street,
Antigo, WI 54409
Phone: 715-623-4191
Fax: 715-623-4193
Mail to: Fred Berner
MapOnUs Location: (local)

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