OREGON COUNTY -- Two communities in Oregon County received grants last week from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development to purchase storm sirens.
Morris Westfall, Missouri state director of the USDA Rural Development presented a check to the city of Koshkonong for $10,875. The Rural Development Community Facilities Grant combined with $3,625 from the city will finance the $14,500 purchase of a storm siren to help protect the residents of the city. There are 250 residents of the city of Koshkonong. Koshkonong Mayor Loyd Adams accepted the check on behalf of the city.
The city of Alton received a check the same day for $18,175. These funds will go with the city's $6,825 and finance two storm warning sirens at Alton. Alton has a population of 668 people. Mayor Richard Haigwood accepted the check on behalf of the city.
"Our cities would like to thank Rural Development for the grants. These funds will allow us to purchase storm sirens allowing added protection during severe weather. We appreciate being able to ensure advance warning to our residents," Mayor Adams and Mayor Haigwood said.
"There is no greater issue in Koshkonong than the safety and well-being of the residents in the event of tornados or severe weather. This has already been an unforgettable year in terms of extreme weather events and the damage of ice storms and flooding underscore the importance of the warning siren for Koshkonong and Alton," a press release from U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson said.
"This kind of assistance mirrors USDA Rural Development's mission and President Bush's initiative of being committed to the future of rural communities," Westfall said. "Appreciation is extended to our federal elected officials for supporting USDA Rural Development. They have been strong proponents for the necessary funding for essential services for rural Missourians."
Also present during the check presentation was Danny Campbell, Rural Development area specialist, Koshkonong City Clerk Chris Troubaugh, Koshkonong Councilman Dale Harrison, Area USDA Director Tim Rickabaugh, Alton City Clerk Dinah Slaughter and Alton Emergency Management Director Sam Barton.