BDCFILE Beaver Dam Fire Department

The Beaver Dam Police and Fire Commission approved outlay budget requests for the police and fire departments Tuesday night, with a few cuts.

“I think this is a good clean budget,” Chairman Jeff Kohman said.

After cuts were made, the police department’s total outlay budget request for 2018 is $200,600 compared to $378,300 this year and the fire department’s total outlay budget request for 2018 is $78,300 compared to $46,400 this year. The police and fire departments maintain separate operating budgets for salaries and other expenditures.

The police department budget requests 17 police radios for patrol officers at a cost of nearly $63,000. The radios will be compatible with Dodge County’s radio systems and they are compatible with Beaver Dam’s new system that was installed this year, according to Beaver Dam Police Chief John Kreuziger.

He said some squad laptops also need to be replaced. The department is requesting to purchase eight new Panasonic Toughbooks for a total of $31,000. The request form states some laptops are more than seven years old and are starting to have technical issues.

The department is requesting more than $81,100 to lease three Dodge Chargers and one Ford SUV. All four vehicles are on a two-year lease. The request form states the department will replace the vehicles every two years so they don’t need as much upkeep. Vehicle radio and radar units will be upgraded as well.

Other general capital outlay requests from the police department include:

  • One replacement ballistic shield ($2,100)
  • Five soft body armor vests ($3,675)
  • Nine replacement ballistic helmets ($2,070)
  • Network infrastructure switches ($17,500)

The fire department had two cuts made to its budget requests.

Deputy Fire Chief Matt Christian told the committee the department is requesting one additional full-time firefighter/paramedic. The cost to employ this person would be $75,000. Kohman said the department should hold back on hiring because a north-side fire station and staffing study at a cost of $12,000 is pending. The study will look at creating a second fire station on Beaver Dam’s north side and staffing levels for the fire department.

Also cut was $47,600 for a replacement staff car. Christian said the department already set aside $16,000 for a new staff vehicle. Kohman said the department should use that $16,000 and buy a used vehicle instead.

One priority for the department is replacing turnout gear costing $47,000. Christian said exposure to contaminated equipment can lead to duty-related cancers.

Other general capital outlay requests from the fire department include:

  • Wetland protective clothing for the all staff ($2,750)
  • Thermal imaging devices ($4,500)
  • One Blitz fire nozzle ($3,100)
  • Two EVAC Paks and one rope rescue truck cache kit ($3,500)
  • Send two personnel to 2018 Annual Fire Department Instructor Conference ($2,500)
  • Outside fire instructor visits ($3,000)

Both budgets were sent to the city’s Administrative Committee meeting for consideration Oct. 23.

Kreuziger also said that under the operating budget, police department salaries and wages will have a 7.3 percent increase over last year due to previous union negotiations. There also will be a 17.8 percent jump in shooting range costs. He said the rising cost of ammunition and bean bags caused the increase. In addition, the department will have go through bean bag training.

Ben Rueter covers Beaver Dam, Horicon and Juneau city governments for the Beaver Dam Daily Citizen.