BELOIT - Five early warning sirens were dedicated by Knox Township trustees Friday morning.
The ceremony concluded about 18 months in which five township sirens were refurbished, mounted and installed to warn the public when severe weather approaches.
The dedication took place at the West Branch Booster Club on U.S. 62.
Knox Township trustees dedicated five early warning sirens to families and community members who have had an impact on the community on Friday. Accepting the sign for Siren No. 1, the Knox Siren, and a certificate of dedication for the staff and students of Knox School of 2012 are, from left, third-grade teacher Staci Patterson, Bonnie Riddle, secretary and Amy Mabbott, principal of Knox Elementary. About 70 people attended the dedication ceremonies at the West Branch Booster Club on U.S. 62. (Salem News photo by Larry Shields)
Trustees said the siren project has been a major focus emphasizing the township's continued commitment to be proactive in the community.
Each of the five sirens was dedicated to families or community members who trustees said "have had a huge impact on Knox Township/Columbiana County."
The first siren, No.1, was dedicated to the staff and students of Knox School of 2012; No. 2, the Brunner siren was dedicated to the Brunner family; No. 3, the Warrior siren was dedicated to the West Branch Booster Club; No. 4, the Scott Eglie siren was dedicated to the Scott family and Eglie family; and No. 5, the Reichenbach siren in Georgetown was dedicated to the Reichenbach family.
Trustee Chairman and Master of Ceremonies Gregory Carver said they have all "given a lot to the community."
Speaker Fred McMullen of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Pittsburgh said there have been 11 tornadoes in Columbiana since 1950 and recalled the 1985 outburst that ripped the area.
"This is a great day," he said, "if you see a tornado make sure you get
word to local authorities ... if you see something ... we rely on people like you, your information could lead to a warning."
Columbiana County Commissioner Tim Weigle, a former township trustee, appreciated the effort and coordination needed to fund the sirens while West Branch School Superintendent Dr. Scott Weingart called it "a shining example of shared services in government."
Sarah Poulton, representing U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, read a proclamation saying it was "testament to the township's dedication to keeping the community safe."
State Rep. Nick Baborak also attended.
"In the future," trustees said, "it is our hope that we never need to use our early warning system, but if severe weather is imminent, Knox Township will be ready through communication, training and awareness to seek shelter once the sirens are activated."