FORT PLAIN - The village will get a disaster warning siren with money donated from the William Gundry Broughton Charitable Private Foundation.
The Glenville-based foundation suggested Fort Plain apply for monetary help after the destructive flooding that occurred over the summer, Mayor Guy Barton said.
On June 28, the Otsquago Creek overflowed and flooded streets, homes and backyards. Village resident Ethel Healey died during the flooding. She was carried downstream in her modular home, and her body was discovered days later.
Barton said he realized the village was in desperate need of a warning siren to alert residents to an emergency. He said the village currently uses the police and fire alarms, but he said they're not getting the job done.
He said he wrote a letter to the foundation asking for $16,000 to buy a siren. The foundation recently mailed Barton back a check for "more than enough money," the mayor said.
"The foundation didn't want the exact number publicized, so I'm honoring their request," Barton said. "I don't want to jeopardize my relationship with them."
The system will cost about $26,000, including the installation.
Barton said the siren is solar-powered, so "power outages caused by lightning won't be an issue." The siren will be used for flooding, train wrecks, chemical spills, tornadoes and any other emergency situation the village might encounter.
Barton said the siren automatically will go off, warning residents of an imminent flood, if water from the creek rises past a certain level at any of the four flood gauges on the Otsquago Creek from its confluence with the Mohawk River.
The mayor said the siren will arrive in 10 weeks from the Whelen Siren Factory in Connecticut. It will be installed on a 60-foot pole near upper Main Street.
He said the siren will produce an alarm loud enough to be heard in the surrounding areas such as the village of Nelliston and the town of Palatine.
The siren should be ready for use in three months, Barton said.
The mayor said he's grateful for the foundation's donation.
"People realize the village was hit really hard this past summer," he said. "We're very fortunate that we've got volunteers and foundations that recognize what we've been through, and I'm so thankful that they're still around helping. We're getting back on our feet, and we're going to be better than ever."
Casey Croucher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.