Andover ponders emergency preparedness

Lisa Hammer

Andover village trustees are thinking about storms and natural disasters.

Emergency sirens, a generator for the water system and concrete blocks for the lakeshore have crept to the top of the village’s priority list.

Trustee Dan Crippen said when the power went out in an ice storm in the winter of 2007 he went to the phone.   

“It took an entire day calling around before finding the closest generator down below Peoria,” he said, noting that borrowing the generator cost $1,100 per week.

Osco-Andover Fire Chief Roger Stancliff asked if the village wanted the fire department’s 1962 generator, which the firefighters are replacing.

A Galesburg-area firm could check out the older generator for $500, or the village could take it to them and retrieve it for about half that cost, according to Trustee Dan Heiar.

“The only thing hard on these is mice,” he said. “They’ll get in there and start chewing on wires.”

“I think the generator was a good thing to look at, but 1962 scares me,” said Trustee Dave Crippen. “That’s over 40 years old.”

One firm has offered a new generator for $15,778, operated by either LP or natural gas.

Trustees said they prefer LP because natural gas could require several thousand dollars for a separate meter in addition to a monthly fee for gas.

Dave Crippen said both the Illinois Rural Water Association and Bi-State Regional Planning Commission say the chance of getting grants for a generator are “slim to none.”

He said he checked with Arsenal surplus in Rock Island, as well, without success.

No decision was made on a generator, other than to decline the fire department’s offer.

The lack of an emergency weather siren may have displaced a new truck, although the finance committee will re-examine available funds.

“We’ve needed it once a year for the last three years at least,” said Trustee Mike Mielke.

He said to him, the siren is more important than the generator.

Chief Stancliff said a representative from Federal Signal of Oak Brook could give the board an idea on range and cost, and whether the siren could be mounted on the water tower or a pole. He said the information could be ready for next month’s board meeting.

Trustees wondered if the siren could run off the fire department’s new generator. Chief Stancliff said he doubted it, but the board should check with the sales representative to be sure.

Trustees also:

• Approved a $600 bid from Hutchinson Electric, of Cambridge, to bring electrical service to the new Crippen Memorial park shelter.

• Learned the backhoe needs $400 to $450 worth of repairs.

• Learned more information will be coming on “welcome” village entry signs.