Current unit was swamped in July’s flood

By Jason Arndt

Staff Writer

After floodwaters damaged the generator in the Burlington Police Department basement last July, the department has been without a back-up power source, which led to a Common Council decision to approve a replacement at its April 4 meeting.

The replacement, which cost $65,304, includes moving the generator from the basement to the exterior of the police department at ground level.

According to Lt. Brian Zmudzinski, speaking on behalf of Police Chief Mark Anderson, city staff looked to replace the now-damaged generator about four years ago and had $61,600 set aside in the Equipment Replacement Fund.

Zmudzinski said of the three bids, city officials found the second highest proposal, which came from Peck and Weis, will bring the most quality.

The lowest bid came from Adams Electric at $63,690 while the Rewald Electric submitted the highest at $68,900.

“Although it is not the lowest bid, staff believes that it is the best product,” Zmudzinski said.

Zmudzinski, meanwhile, brought in maintenance technician Brian Wood to answer questions for council members.

District 2 Alderman Ruth Dawidziak wondered if the city’s sump pumps were also damaged during the flood.

“Were the sump pumps too much of a draw on the generator?” she asked. “Do we need to be replacing sump pumps also?”

Wood said the sump pumps were relatively new at around three years old.

“After the flood, they were tested, they tested fine,” Wood said.

District 3 Alderman Tom Vos inquired whether the new generator will be diesel or gas powered.

Wood said diesel fuel powers the generator, which can offer 24 hours of electrical support during an emergency.

District 4 Alderman Thomas Preusker said he favored the move to the exterior of the building, noting it will offer more protection from future flooding.

“The thing that I like about it, is that it will not be located in the basement,” Preusker said.

For the full report out of the recent City Council meeting see the April 12 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.