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Parks may add wireless availability

Harrison Countians may only have to travel to a county park in the near future to have access to wireless, high-speed Internet service.
Parks director Claudia Howard has proposed the idea of having David L. Hulsebus, co-owner of Portative Technologies LLC, install the wireless option at the county’s three most-populated parks: South Harrison Park near Elizabeth, Hayswood Nature Reserve west of Corydon and Buffalo Trace Park east of Palmyra.
Howard discussed the initiative with the county’s board of commissioners at its first meeting in February and again, along with Hulsebus, at the board’s meeting Feb. 16.
Visitors will not be charged any extra fee for the service.
‘We really needed it for our staff, for weather, and there are a number of other reasons we’d like to have it for our staff,’ Howard said.
Howard said the homepage site could have a ‘back site’ for employee administrative use. Employees could also e-mail their daily reports instead of driving it in to the park.
She said the equipment for the project at the three sites will cost, at the most, $15,000 (Hulsebus would install three stations at each park). The request was made and passed to the county council out of the riverboat infrastructure gaming fund.
Hulsebus said the equipment will have a three-year warranty and should last five to seven years. He said any damage to the equipment, after the three-year warranty, would have to be paid by the county.
‘We’ll take every precaution to guard against lightning strikes,’ he said.
Howard said the service would cost $25 per month per park, plus another $25 administrative fee, totaling $1,200 for the budget year, and could be paid out of the park general fund.
Hulsebus said the price is a significant savings to the county.
‘I like what the parks department provides for the county,’ he said.
The service will be available on and along all of the roads in the parks and the campsites on a ‘line of sight’ from the three stations installed at each park.
Howard said the plan is to have some sort of Harrison County Parks homepage pop up each time someone logs in to the service. She also said the park board could work with the Harrison County Convention & Visitors Bureau for information on the homepage.
Hulsebus said up to as many as 200 people could be on the service at one time, but, ideally, each park would only have about 50 visitors online at one time.
Commissioner Carl (Buck) Mathes said Hulsebus has previously talked about being able to service the entire county. Mathes said Hulsebus could get the entire county ‘up and going’ in a month and a half.
Commissioner Terry Miller made the motion, which was seconded by Mathes, to pass the additional on to the council. Board Chairman James Goldman voted no on the additional and said the parks should be used to ‘kick your feet up’ and enjoy the outdoors.
The Harrison County Council will vote on the additional at its next meeting, Monday, at 7 p.m. at the courthouse in Corydon.