CORTLAND Council postpones action on 2 sirens

Walnut Run residents are split on the need for creek work, one resident said.
CORTLAND -- Proposals to install two emergency-warning sirens and to remedy flooding of Walnut Creek dominated discussion at Tuesday's council meeting.
The range of two sirens would cover 98 percent of the city and would provide warning to residents in the event of a tornado or other emergency, Fire Chief Bill Novakovitch said.
Novakovitch said even if council acted now, the sirens likely could not be installed until well into 2003.
Councilman James Chubb pointed out that council still needs to determine who would activate the sirens and under what circumstances.
Council unanimously agreed to table the legislation until specifics can be ironed out.
Creek flooding
Residents of the Walnut Run development addressed council about periodic flooding of Walnut Creek.
Tournament Trail resident Charlie Peck expressed concerns that the city's plans to widen a section of the creek by about 20 feet would detract from his back yard unnecessarily.
"What I don't understand is why we're not looking for root causes," Peck said. "Where is this water coming from?"
Tournament Trail resident George Holzheimer said Walnut Run residents are divided on the issue.
"Those who have had water in their basement want something done. Those who haven't want to preserve it the way it is now," he said.
Holzheimer said he favors removing brush and fallen trees from the creek bed and continued study of the problem. "All I say is, give it a 'haircut' from the Brainard bridge down, and let's see what happens."
Councilman Frank Stocz cast the sole vote in favor of declaring the creek ordinance an emergency for immediate passage.
An ordinance authorizing the city to contract engineering services for a creek dredging project was defeated 4-2, with Stocz and John Caparanis voting yes.
Council made tentative plans to submit a new ordinance for the project after studying the issue further.
In other action, council approved a $9,800 contract with Taneri Engineering Inc. of Howland for the Orchard Lane storm-sewer project and a resolution outlining the process for creating a strategic plan for the city.

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