Road Commission says two new disaster warning sirens in Dexter Township need to relocate
A "breakdown of communication" between the Washtenaw County Road Commission, Dexter Township officials and a contracting company means two new disaster warning sirens installed in December must be relocated.
Dexter Township entered into a $370,000 contract with Front Line Plus Inc., of Monticello, Minn., for the installation of 16 new disaster warning sirens, prompted by the tornado that swept through the area in March 2012.
Courtesy of Washtenaw County Road Commission
However, four of the sirens that were installed in Dexter Township are within a right-of-way area and closer to the road than they should be, per the Road Commission. Front Line Plus requested the Road Commission waive its requirements that the poles be a minimum of 28 feet from the center line of a road.
"As I am sure the Road Commission knows, installing 60-foot poles with sirens and solar power in a foliage-rich area combined with countless underground utilities, made this project a challenge," Green wrote in a Jan. 20 letter to the Road Commission.
Roy Townsend, director of the Road Commission, granted the company a waiver for one of the sirens by written letter and waived the requirements for another of the siren locations at an April 17 meeting of the Road Commission.
Two of the sirens must be moved because they're far too close to the road, Townsend said, noting they're about eight feet from the edge of the roadway:
- Siren number 10 on Donner Road south of Colby Road
- Siren number 13 on Waterloo Road east of Werkner Road
“At the end of the day, the company put them in the wrong location,” Townsend said.
Townsend said the company started installing the sirens prior to getting the proper permits for the work.
Dexter Township officials were under the impression that the permits had been issued for the work, but that the contractor didn’t have them in hand when they started installing the sirens, said township clerk Harley Rider.
“There was a breakdown of communication,” Rider said.
Green of Front Line Plus declined to comment, and deferred to Rider on the issue.
The location of the sirens were marked by the company and a representative of the township's Public Safety Advisory Committee, which initially was reviewed by the Road Commission, Rider said.
The contractor installed the siren on Waterloo Road in a different location than it was marked, Rider said.
"The contractor put it closer to the road than we had it marked," Rider said.
Miscommunication about the location of private property and the right-of-way area at the Donner Road site caused the contractor to install the pole in a place that was marked but ended up being incorrect, Rider said.
Front Line Plus likely will pay for the relocation of the Waterloo Road siren, Rider said. Rider expects Front Line Plus to ask the township to pay for part or all of the relocation of the Donner Road siren.
"I would have the tendency to agree," Rider said. "The information that everyone had at the time wasn't complete. ... It was a breakdown of communication between all parties."