Silver Lake to buy new radios and pagers for Silver Lake FD

silver-lake-fd-doorThe Silver Lake Village Board approved spending as much as $28,000 on new pagers, portable radios and handheld radios for the Silver Lake Fire Department.

The action was approved by a 3-1 vote. Trustee Carolyn Dodge voted against the motion. Trustees Pat Dunn, Roger Johnson and Daniel Withers were absent.

After objections arose to just one bid from RD Electronics being submitted, the approval was made contingent on the village getting two other bids. Village policy calls for purchases of over $1,500 be made  from three bids.

Village President Bruce Nopenz defended going ahead with the purchase despite the fact the village is entering negotiations with Salem to cover the village for fire protection and emergency medical services.

“They’re in a position that they need to protect the village,” Nopenz said of the village fire department. “Negotiating with Salem may take six months.”

Assistant Chief Roger Pattie said the department’s radios have been malfunctioning more lately, causing the department to seek repairs. They were then informed that the radios, besides being not repairable, are wide band units, which were supposed to be replaced as of January 2013.

If the Federal Communications Commission chose to, it could implement a $16,000 a day fine until the village replaced the wide band radios, Pattie said.

Fire Chief Allison Draeger elaborated in an email to

We needed to purchase this equipment because it is now a life safety hazard. We have had issues on every call where we cannot hear each other transmitting including other agencies and there are several times when Kenosha County Dispatch cannot hear us. This is dangerous. This request was not submitted lightly. There were many hours put into this to make sure the radios chosen were cost effective, compliant, included upgrade capabilities and most importantly, contributing to the safety of the members on the SLFD.”

Dodge raised the multiple bids issue. She also offered to see if the radio communications company used by the Silver Lake Rescue Squad, of which she is a member, could take a look at the radios to see if they could come up with a solution for the fire department radio’s problem.

Pattie said there is enough money in the fire department budget to cover the costs, however funds may need to be shifted into one FD account.



  1. Sl Goverment says:

    Yea for the new board. They are getting things done right. Merge with Salem now and make a strong fire department in Silver Lake. Good job.

  2. Just disband says:

    Just disband the FD already… Won’t Salem have to cover regardless? What a waste of tax payers money! Disolvers want to get rid of everything else. Why not the wanna be fire department too!!!

  3. Sick of stupid says:

    New radios and other equipment all becomes an asset that will be used in negotiations with the Town of Salem. Doesn’t take much to figure that out…

  4. How is that fair? says:

    How is that fair to RD electronics when the other two bidders whoever they might end up being, now know what number they have to beat to get the job?

    It’s not RD’s fault that nobody else bid on the job . They did, so they should get the work.

    In the case of not getting three bids the board should’ve never opened up the first one. They should have just said “We only have one bid and we need to extend the bid deadline to get two more, or start over.”

    What they did was wrong and unprofessional.

  5. @just disband says:

    I can’t believe that you actually typed what you did!! Waste of tax payers money? You won’t be saying that if you need your a** saved by one of our firefighters. Or are you one of those who feel that all you need is the rescue squad? In my opinion – we need both.

  6. Concerned says:

    I have no problem outfitting the FD with new radios if that is what they need. Wonder why they were not in the budget? Every year we seem to get a surprise ’emergency purchase’ from the FD. Remember the air packs and the tires?
    Seems our board is going back to no bid purchases. This is despite the ordinance requiring them to get bids. A few weeks back it was almost $9000 for something needed at the sewer plant. Was not put out for bids. Now they tried to buy $28000 worth of radio equipment.
    Where are all the people that were outraged when former boards made purchases without bids?
    Proper bidding requires bid specs so all potential vendors supply pricing for equal products. Bid specs do require some effort to put together.
    Getting one proposal, voting to purchase, then making it contingent on obtaining 2 more prices is totally unfair to the vendors.
    If the ordinance requiring bidding is not working then let’s change it. Either that or we should follow it.
    Again, where are all you complainers when former boards did not get bids? Apparently with the new board they are exempt?

  7. Concerned is why says:

    @Concerned, The fire department is getting two more bids. Why is it one always has to throw darts? This nonsense soon to be over for ever…

  8. Concerned says:

    The very fact the board voted on this shows they are not following their own rules.
    I am all in favor of new radios for FD. Not in favor of falling back into no bid contracts.

  9. Sl Goverment says:

    Hold on there. Remember the board told the FD that they are approving because of how important it is to get this done this month. They required them to get two more bids before ordering them.

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