Park will go wireless


ALAMOSA — Folks will soon be able to access the internet in Alamosa’s Cole Park.

The Alamosa city council authorized the city’s information technology department to install a wireless internet and security camera system in Cole Park this summer.

Information Technology Director Jim Belknap told the council that the IT department has fund savings that will cover the wireless internet and security system installation.

Belknap said over the years vendors at events such as the SummerFest as well as guests in the park have told city staff they would appreciate having wireless internet access in Cole Park, which is one of the city’s main venues for outdoor community events.

The city can extend wireless internet into the park under state statute because it has provided free wireless access from the Alamosa Public Library since 2005, Belknap added. The extension would not cost the city additional ongoing expenses, he said.

He said an internet provider was supposed to install a test system this spring but was unable to, so the city staff will install it themselves.

Belknap said the wireless internet and security system will cost $7,500 to install, with no additional monthly costs. The Early Iron Festival committee is offering $1,500 towards the cost with $1,000 of that coming from funds that had been earmarked for a PA system in the park, with another $500 committed from Early Iron this fall. The remaining $6,000 cost to install the system will come from savings in the IT department.

Belknap said camera installation in the park would provide increased public safety and protect city assets. He said one camera would be installed at the far end of the park. The camera is not that expensive, but infrastructure will have to be built for it, Belknap said.

The camera would operate 24/7 year round, he added.

The city council commended Belknap for the savings in his department, which total more than $75,000 over the course of the last three years.

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