The City of Isabel, in northern Barber County, will soon have a better way to warn about a hundred residents of an approaching storm, thanks to a $25,000 Community Development Block Grant.


The City of Isabel, in northern Barber County, will soon have a better way to warn about a hundred residents of an approaching storm, thanks to a $25,000 Community Development Block Grant.
A new siren, which can probably be installed four to six weeks after placing the order, Mayor Marilyn Murphy estimated, will be heard all over the small town and will be tested on a weekly basis so residents know what to listen for.
There is currently a siren at the firehouse, but it is not very loud, Murphy said. During a couple of “close calls” last year, firefighters drove trucks up and down the streets to warn residents to take shelter.
The Kansas Department of Commerce awarded $13 million, including $4.3 million in stimulus dollars, in federal grants to 44 communities for improvement projects. These grants are in addition to more than $9 million awarded earlier in the year.
CDBG funds are primarily for small rural communities that meet at least one of three program objectives: benefit low and moderate-income persons; prevent or eliminate slums and blight; or resolve an urgent need where local resources are not available to do so.
Murphy said the grant would eliminate the need for community fund-raisers to buy a siren.
Isabel was the recipient of a grant several years ago to raze the former Isabel School, which had been vacant and in disrepair for many years.