Quantcast

No more public storm shelters in Oswego, Kansas - KOAM TV 7

No more public storm shelters in Oswego, Kansas

Updated:

The city council in Oswego, Kansas votes to keep areas previously designated as storm shelters closed to the public, saying safety is an issue and they provide a false sense of security. Citizens are upset, but the mayor says with no tax dollars paid to the city to provide such services there are no plans to add a community shelter at this time.

Charlie Perry says when storms strike he and his wife cram into a closet beneath his stairs.  Like many in Oswego, thick rock under the town make it nearly impossible for his house to have a basement.

"They're going to get a lot of people killed, no place to go," says Perry.

Previously, the city allowed citizens to go to the county court house, local Presbyterian church or local junior high to seek shelter, but the city says they are no longer safe.  According to Oswego Mayor Glenn Fischer the buildings are no longer safe for citizens during storms and it would be a liability to allow citizens into the buildings.

"A bit of a liability problem in closing these places down, may cause a few more deaths in case of a good tornado - a big one," says Perry.

But the city doesn't see it that way.

"These buildings give people what I think is a false sense of security," says Mayor Fischer.  "They think it's safer than their home and it's actually not."

Mayor Fischer says the junior high has plans for renovations and those plans include a storm shelter, however, he says it's up the school's superintendent as to whether the community is allowed in.

Since the city itself does not allocate money for safe rooms it says it has no obligation to do so.

"If there were tax dollars allocated for it, then yes, we would be responsible for providing some of it, but there isn't," says Mayor Fischer.

The mayor says it falls on each citizen to make an individual game plan to ensure their family's safety and suggests everyone look into storm safe shelters or to find neighbors with shelters and basements.

"We're responsible for our family, whether it's in our home, whether it's in our car, or whether it's in a storm, we're all responsible for our own safety, that does not default to the city," says Mayor Fischer.

Perry says not everyone can afford that.

"There ain't no way I can afford $2,000 for the shelter, then you'd have to pay someone a whole bunch of money to come dig a hole with jack hammers," says Perry.

Mayor Fischer says between liability and safety concerns the city will not be adding a community shelter as of right now.

Perry says until they do he will stick to his closet behind the stairs.

Mayor Fischer says Oswego is not alone and that many cities in Tornado Alley do not provide public shelter for citizens, including Moore and Oklahoma City.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Google Co-Founder to Visit Pittsburg

    Google Co-Founder to Visit Pittsburg

    Monday, February 19 2018 2:46 PM EST2018-02-19 19:46:04 GMT

    Google Earth Co-Founder and Kansas Secretary of State candidate Brian McClendon plans a visit to southeast Kansas. McClendon is currently a University of Kansas Research professor. He'll be meeting with residents to listen to their concerns and share his vision of a citizen oriented Secretary of State's office. He'll be in Pittsburg on February 22nd at Gusano's Pizzeria (200 W. Centennial Dr) from 4:00 to 5:15 pm. The event is open to the public and free of charge. "The Kansa...

    More >>

    Google Earth Co-Founder and Kansas Secretary of State candidate Brian McClendon plans a visit to southeast Kansas. McClendon is currently a University of Kansas Research professor. He'll be meeting with residents to listen to their concerns and share his vision of a citizen oriented Secretary of State's office. He'll be in Pittsburg on February 22nd at Gusano's Pizzeria (200 W. Centennial Dr) from 4:00 to 5:15 pm. The event is open to the public and free of charge. "The Kansa...

    More >>
  • Galena Fire, Investigation Update

    Galena Fire, Investigation Update

    Monday, February 19 2018 12:39 PM EST2018-02-19 17:39:09 GMT
    Galena Fire Chief Bill Hall says another fire was apparently set last night (Feb 19).  He says it was in an open field and there were no structures involved. Authorities say last night's fire was put out one hour after crews arrived. The fire Marshal is investigating.  Hall says the city does have a few leads, however, at this point they don't know if the fires from last week are connected to last night's fire. Last week's story and video: http://www.koamtv.com/st...More >>
    Galena Fire Chief Bill Hall says another fire was apparently set last night (Feb 19).  He says it was in an open field and there were no structures involved. Authorities say last night's fire was put out one hour after crews arrived. The fire Marshal is investigating.  Hall says the city does have a few leads, however, at this point they don't know if the fires from last week are connected to last night's fire. Last week's story and video: http://www.koamtv.com/st...More >>
  • Hunting & Boat Show Brings Record Crowds To Grove

    Hunting & Boat Show Brings Record Crowds To Grove

    Sunday, February 18 2018 11:40 PM EST2018-02-19 04:40:48 GMT
    Vance Montgomery "This is a once a year event. It's not something that happens very often. We do it once a year. It's all about fishing, hunting and the outdoors." "We have boat dealers, guides, outfitters, a lot of seminars by pros and that's something that's kind of this show is kind of known for." "So we started this event 19 years ago, actually in Claremore, Oklahoma. And we had it there for 10 years. We moved the show from there to Bixby for about five ...More >>
    Vance Montgomery "This is a once a year event. It's not something that happens very often. We do it once a year. It's all about fishing, hunting and the outdoors." "We have boat dealers, guides, outfitters, a lot of seminars by pros and that's something that's kind of this show is kind of known for." "So we started this event 19 years ago, actually in Claremore, Oklahoma. And we had it there for 10 years. We moved the show from there to Bixby for about five ...More >>
Powered by Frankly

KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas
Send tips, ideas and press releases to: tips@koamtv.com
Send newsroom questions or comments to: comments@koamtv.com
Phone: (417) 624-0233 or (620) 231-0400
Web comments or questions: webmaster@koamtv.com
Newsroom Fax: (417) 624-3158

Powered by WorldNow All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOAM. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.