Two of Lexington's public emergency management services have been upgraded.
The alert siren in north Lexington's Douglass Park is fully electronic and capable of broadcasting voice commands, the Division of Emergency Management announced this week. More than $14,000 in federal, state and local money paid for the upgrade.
Douglass Park is one of 27 locations in the city with an outdoor emergency siren designed to sound alerts during severe weather or community emergency for those who are outside, according to a news release.
"Keeping the sirens in good working order is a continuous challenge," the release said. "Many are decades old with repair parts hard to find or no longer available."
Six sirens remain outdated, division spokesman John Bobel said, but the city has applied for a state grant to upgrade some or all of them in the upcoming fiscal year.
Bobel said each siren improvement costs about $10,000 for new electronics and battery backups and at least $4,000 for labor, even with donated equipment from Madison County.
The division also announced it will stream Radio Lexington, a local AM radio station that broadcasts information about traffic, events and emergencies, through its Web site.