CROWN POINT | The city's early warning system will be out of service for up to six weeks for federally mandated changes, officials said Wednesday.
Use of a Blackboard system already in place and other methods of public communication will be stepped up in the interim if needed, Crown Point officials said.
The Federal Communications Commission has required public safety radio systems to convert their equipment to operate on bandwidths of 12.5 KHZ or less, known as narrowbanding, for greater efficiency.
Modifications to the city's early warning system will be done by Federal Signal, of University Park, Ill., Crown Point Emergency Management Director Kelly Miller said. The work is expected to take four to six weeks.
Hyre Electric, of Highland, will remove and ship control boards from the city's nine sirens to Federal Signal for reprogramming, under an agreement approved Wednesday by the Board of Public Works and Safety.
Hyre Electric also will program the timing of the sirens and reinstall the control boards, under terms of the $5,900 contract.
The Blackboard Connect service is a city-to-resident notification system used by the city administration to send personalized voice messages to residents and businesses within minutes, with specific information about emergencies or other time-sensitive issues.
The Board of Public Works and Safety also agreed to a broaden city policy for activating early warning system sirens. The modification adds severe thunderstorm warnings with damaging winds to the activation spectrum, which had been limited to tornado warnings.