by Mark Cheffey
With the severe weather season fast approaching, efforts continue to erect a warning siren for the Taylor area.
Palmyra Fire Protection District Fire Chief Gary Crane said work to fund the siren, which began in 2019, appear to be coming to fruition.
Members of the Marion County Commission signed paperwork last week for the project and it was considered “a go” for funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Crane said details are still being worked on to finalize a location, but the district is working with Mt. Olivet Church for a spot on church property at the top of the hill along Mo. 6.
“It’s an ideal location,” Crane said, noting it would be heard from there throughout Taylor and beyond.
Making securing a location difficult is the fact that FEMA requires the district, county or state to own the property where the 50-foot pole would stand for the siren.
Crane said he recently learned, though, that it would require just a spot a little larger than a square foot for the pole.
Since the formation of the fire district, Crane said one of the goals was to build a satellite fire station in the Taylor area, but that goal has been out of reach so far.
“Nobody has come forward to offer or sell land for it,” Crane said, noting the district has wanted to make sure its entire service area is well-served and not just the Palmyra area.
According to Crane, a station in the Taylor area would complete its coverage area on the north end of the district including West Quincy to the east and Route 6 in Marion County to the west.
In the process, such a station would lower homeowner’s insurance rates by as much as 10 percent.
“Which would cover the taxes they pay for the district,” Crane said.
A place in or near Taylor would be preferable to building one in West Quincy where construction costs would go up due to being in the flood plain, and would extend response time to Taylor and places further west.
While remaining hopeful a location will be found in Taylor, Crane said the district may end up moving ahead with the next goal of placing a station in the south end of the district where a location may already be available.