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Gainesville OKs 3 new tornado sirens
Council also voted to transfer ownership of Bobby Gruhn Field to Gainesville City Schools
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Gainesville City Council voted Tuesday to fund three emergency warning sirens, paying for part of the $60,000 project with grant money.

Gainesville Fire Chief Jon Canada submitted the resolution to apply for fiscal year 2012 Emergency Management Performance Grant for tornado sirens, which would alert residents throughout Gainesville of extreme weather conditions, he said.

"Hall County and the city of Gainesville especially have a long history of tornado activity," Canada said.

The city would provide $35,000 to help pay for the project along with a $25,000 grant funded by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Management Agency, Canada said.

The city currently has two warning sirens, but they are both in downtown Gainesville, he added.

"You have folks on out on Dawsonville Highway, people out on the Browns Bridge side, and definitely the people on the Thompson Bridge side ­- there are areas that those sirens can not be heard," he said.

The sirens are used to signal individuals outdoors to find shelter.

"If you're outdoors, it's a sign to take cover," he said.

The council also approved the qualifying period for the Nov. 8 election for council and school board members.

Ward 3 Councilwoman Myrtle Figueras invited residents to get involved in the process, even if it meant running against her, Mayor Ruth Bruner or Councilman
Bob Hamrick.

"Ward 3, Ward 2 and Ward 5 are positions that are up for election in November. Citizens, I hope you will consider getting in involved in government, whether you want to run against one of us or not. Everybody should be involved," Figueras said.

The qualifying period is set for Aug. 29, 30 and 31.

Elections will be held Nov. 8. Qualifying packets with information for residents on how to run for City Council or school board seats are available in the city manager's office.

The council also voted to transfer ownership of Bobby Gruhn Field to Gainesville City Schools. The city will continue to use the field for certain events and sports.

The school board approved the motion at its Monday night meeting. The transfer was months in the making, Bruner said.

"This has been something we've talked about, and I think it's going to be a good thing. The school (Gainesville High)has almost exclusive use of Bobby Gruhn Field, and we'll be able to still use the field for our athletic games that we have," she said.

Meanwhile Councilman George Wangemann announced he has knocked on 3,024 doors to deliver personal invitations to attend Gainesville City Council meetings.

"I think there are two types of people in this world.

There are those who are our friends and there are those who we don't know yet. So I have made many friends in this effort of going door to door," he said.

City Manager Kip Padgett also announced that for now the Chattahoochee Golf Course is closed all day on Mondays and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays after 10 a.m.

Councilman Danny Dunagan said the measure was due to extreme summer heat and the toll it took on the course.

"These greens are really having a hard time and so they're going to have to cut back on some play," he said.