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Brentwood officials consider WiFi access for park

| Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Browsing the Internet could soon be easier for those walking through Brentwood Park or lounging on the deck of the borough pool.

Borough leaders are exploring ways to make at least part of the centrally located municipal park WiFi accessible to provide residents with free Internet access, borough manager George Zboyovsky said. A meeting is planned for next week with the borough's technical staff to review options.

The hope is to provide free wireless Internet access in the newly installed press box at Brentwood Park — a prebuilt structure put into place last Friday — along with the borough pool, Civic Center, near the concession stands and in the bleacher area, Zboyovsky said. Internet capabilities also would be made available near the borough pool when it reopens next summer, he said.

“I think it's expected these days,” Zboyovsky said.

Brentwood leaders, who are in the midst of a major multiyear, multiphase upgrade project at Brentwood Park, initially estimated to cost $8 million, have discussed adding wireless Internet in the park for years, Zboyovsky said.

Construction on Brentwood Park began in 2013 with the addition of a six-lane, 400-meter track and turf field for Brentwood Stadium, along with the construction of a dek hockey rink. The bleachers, press box and walkways are being replaced this summer.

The purchase of 10 surveillance cameras for Brentwood Park in July from Digital Signal Systems Inc., for $31,323 accelerated the idea, he said.

The cameras, part of an ongoing effort to improve security and surveillance in the borough, require wireless Internet for installation, Zboyovsky said.

Borough leaders earlier this year approved the purchase of two rapid-deployment cameras that they said can be set up nearly anywhere to help borough police with an ongoing investigation.

Brentwood police will be able to view feed from the cameras via secure cellphones and laptops, Councilman Pat Carnevale said.

A secure Internet server will be set up for the cameras, Zboyovsky said. Another server will be used for the public.

Public WiFi is available at the Brentwood Public Library but does not extend into the park, said Zboyovsky, who noted plans are to have the borough's WiFi available by the end of the Brentwood Spartan football season.

Free WiFi also is available at the Brentwood Borough building upon request for the password, Zboyovsky said.

Baldwin Borough leaders attempted to install WiFi at the municipal pool to have as an amenity for guests, Manager John Barrett said. However, complications stalled the plans, and a nearby parking lot would need to be dug up before the borough can consider adding the service in 2015, he said.

Allegheny County does not offer WiFi in any public parks or county-owned facilities, said county spokeswoman Amie Downs.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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