The City of Russellville has been awarded $20,000 in grant monies from the Department of Homeland Security to be spent on Community Outdoor Warning Sirens (C.O.W.S.)
City grant writer Kaye Simmons wrote this grant soon after extensive damage was caused by a sudden tornado in southern Logan County this year. The sirens, better known as C.O.W.S. is a warning system which alerts residents of impending danger, enabling them to take the necessary precautions to protect their lives and property.
Russellville Mayor Mark Stratton said the city looked into purchasing these sirens a few years ago, but since they tend to scare people, the city didn’t approach it. But in view of the events that took place this year, the city council felt it needed to look into trying to obtain a Homeland Security grant to help purchase the sirens for the safety of everyone.
The mayor of course was referring to the EF2 tornado that zigzagged through the Schochoh area leaving a path of destruction in its wake. Lee Robey, one of the south Logan residents hit hard by the tornado was heard to say, he didn’t even know it was coming, until it was there.
It is the hopes of the city to allow for a warning, even if it’s just a few seconds. When a tornado is spotted in Logan County the sirens can wail out for people to take cover. This may or may not give everyone enough time to seek shelter, depending on where a tornado begins, but it can have a big impact on others who are in its path once it touches down.
The City of Russellville currently has one siren, which is located on top of the police station. The siren can be heard everyday at noon with one long howl, however, if it is warning of a tornado the siren will wail out in several short intervals letting people know a tornado has been spotted and to take cover. Another siren in the Russellville area is out by Wal-Mart and is operated by the Russellville Rural Fire Department. The new sirens the city is planning to obtain may be placed at the south end of city towards Hwy. 96 and the other near Gupton Motors. The Cities of Adairville, Auburn and Lewisburg all have warning sirens as well.
“Kaye has been very busy and we want to thank her for all the hard work she does for the city,” said Councilman Bill Decker. Councilwoman Sandra Kinser says, “Kaye does a great job.”
Simmons has been writing grants for the City of Russellville since 2007. She is responsible for obtaining close to $4 million since her beginning. These grants have paid for fire and police equipment, safety trainings, and purchases for the parks, a school, and the environment.
“I’ve always enjoyed writing and now it’s my profession. It makes me feel real good to be able to get monies for the safety of the people out there risking their lives, as well as the citizens of this community,” said Simmons.