Wi-Fi added to Hemlock Park

City also adds security cameras to help eliminate the potential for vandalism

BIG RAPIDS — For those looking to download that new e-book and read it while basking in the sunlight, Hemlock Park is the place to be.

Wi-Fi now is available in the park as part of a two-fold plan: to provide the service for visitors and to put up security cameras to try and eliminate vandalism in the park.

Heather Bowman, Big Rapids Department of Parks and Recreation director, hopes the idea will bring more people to parks to relax during the summer.

“(Our) driving force is getting more people outside and in the park,” she said. “In the same time we’re implementing security cameras … so we can take care of any vandalism issues.”

Tim Moslener, Big Rapids director of information technology, said as weather has got warmer between 6 to 10 people have used it everyday.

There is a need for security cameras, he said, because of vandalism that has happened at the Riverwalk.

Setting up the Wi-Fi network cost between $7,000 and $8,000, while the security cameras cost between $5,000 and $7,000, depending on how many are put up.

Those using the city’s Internet first are brought to a splash page and, after accepting the terms, can browse the Web.

“It’s limited per person of how much (you can download),” Moslener said. “It’s made for surfing the Internet, social media, but downloading movies and watching Netflix it’s not made for that.”

The community pool also has Wi-Fi that Moslener added last year.

Bowman said people on their tablets and phones will enjoy the outside that much more.

“I’m hoping that we can do a whole bunch of needs and take care of our own at the same time,” she said.


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