Lovejoy area to get emergency warning siren

JONESBORO — Lovejoy residents will soon have the blaring sound of a siren to warn about approaching hazardous weather.

The Clayton County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to spend $35,206 on a severe weather mass notification and early warning system for Lovejoy Regional Park, 1935 McDonough Road. The contract to install the system was awarded to University Park, Ill.-based Federal Signal Corp., which was the lowest responding bidder, according to county documents.

Other companies included Greensboro-based Davko Services LLC with a $35,950 bid, and Anniston, Ala.-based McCord Communications offering to do the work for $40,994.

Interim fire and emergency services Chief Dwayne Jackson said the county wants to expand warning systems so more people will have advanced notice about severe weather.

“We eventually want to cover the entire county,” said Jackson.

The sirens to be installed are omnidirectional so warnings can be heard in all directions. Installation of the system is expected to be completed within 31 days after Federal Signal receives a notice to proceed, which will likely happen this week, according to the installation contract.

Jackson said the county has at least two sirens in place, but he could only recall the location of the one in downtown Jonesboro. The addition of the Lovejoy siren will bring the total number of warning systems in the county to at least three, and the location of another one is already being considered.

“I think the next one we’re going to be targeting is down in The Beach area (on Ga. 138),” said Jackson.

The county is expected to pay for the Lovejoy system with Georgia Emergency Management Agency 2012 Emergency Management Performance Grant funds, according to a letter from county central services Director Theodis Locke to commissioners.