Council Approves New Police Generator

Emergency Generator Added to 2018 Budget

The Common Council voted Tuesday to approve adding the cost of a new emergency generator for the Marshfield Police Department to the 2018 budget. The generator had been a part of the approved Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for about five years and was budgeted at $50-100K, but the item never made it to the annual budget, according to Dan Knoeck, Director of Public Works.

After failure of the emergency generator last fall, the department has been renting a generator at a cost of approximately $1,300 per month until a new or used generator is purchased. Ideally, the generator to be purchased will be able to provide power to the entire building.

“Our old generator only operated about 1/3 of the building, including what used to be our dispatch center, one outlet in each room, and emergency lighting in the building. Our squad garage doors were not operated by the previous or current generator,” said Police Chief Rick Gramza. Previously, the department was making minor to moderate repairs on the former generator.

A generator is a vital part of making sure the department is able to continue operations and protect the public during power failures. The police department is viewed as a temporary shelter for severe weather or community crisis and has officers on duty 24/7.

“No electricity at the PD causes many challenges with department operations, but mainly the challenge of communications,” said Gramza. “If we do not have power, our radio antenna does not work and officers could not communicate to dispatch over the Marshfield frequency.”

The motion to transfer up to $100,000 within the Public Safety Capital Outlay Fund for the purchase of the generator passed 8-1 with Alderman Zaleski absent.