City upgrading its warning system
By Brian L. Gray
At the cost of $110,216, the Mandan City Commission has approved a new citywide outdoor warning system for Mandan.
The bidding process for the system received five bids, and the winning bid was awarded to Federal Signal Corporation. This new system will cover about 95 percent of the city, said Mandan Fire Chief Steve Nardello.
The company has installed warning systems for over 1,500 cities, including the city of Bismarck. The new system will install seven new warning systems, while the current system has six, Nardello said.
The city set aside $128,600 in its 2013 budget to upgrade its outdoor siren warning system. The city’s current warning system will no longer work without new control units due to the need for narrow banding requirements set by the Federal Communication Commission. The current system also does not provide as much coverage for the city following the city’s continuing expansion of its boundaries.
Federal Signal Corporation was named the second lowest bidder, with the lowest bid coming in at $216 lower. The bid was rejected because it did not meet the city’s specifications. The proposed plan included a battery operated warning system, and the bidding called for Alternating Current, to install with existing wiring and eliminate the need for battery maintenance.
Nardello says that in addition to the new warning system, there are other means of warning residents in the case of severe weather. He says there is a reverse 911 system in place, and fire department also uses telephone apps and media to get the word out, but none are as efficient as the outdoor warning systems.