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DPHA further discusses wifi downtown, holds officer elections

The Downtown Park Hills Association (DPHA) hears a presentation, given by Stacey Johnson of Spectrum Business, on the available options for providing free Wi-Fi to downtown shoppers. 

The Downtown Park Hills Association (DPHA) held its monthly meeting recently at the Riverside Grill where several topics were discussed.

The main issues taken up by members were the available options for implementing plans for free Wi-Fi for downtown shoppers, as well as association officer elections. 

DPHA President David Easter, who is also a city council member, said he’s been very busy with the Wi-Fi issue, calling and emailing people and getting things together.

Easter explained that he had been unsuccessful in getting a call or email returned from AT&T or Sprint. Spectrum, however, seemed eager to do business with the association, contacting Easter back within two hours. An account executive from the communications company was present at the meeting.

Stacey Johnson, from Spectrum Business, gave a presentation explaining the different options for offering free Wi-Fi for downtown shoppers.

Johnson explained the businesses themselves could provide coverage from building to building using customer hot spots already built into their Wi-Fi networks. This, however, would mean that each business would need to have Spectrum internet service and any business that did not would create a gap in Wi-Fi coverage.

The other option Johnson presented was what he called Spectrum’s “community solution.” This option would cost more money but would ensure that the entire area has Wi-Fi access at the same internet speed. This second option also opens up the possibility for grants to help offset the cost of the project.

Johnson suggested the downtown organization look into possible grants he knew to be available for the needed equipment. He explained that the equipment would be staggered along the tops of downtown businesses.

According to Johnson, only about four pieces of equipment would be needed in order to cast a network capable of covering the entire downtown area.

Looking into the prospect of grants for the project were suggested to be the first priority by the members.

More details on this topic will be looked into further and taken up again at the next meeting as more information is gathered.

The other main topic addressed during the meeting was the election of association officers.

Tamara Coleman was re-elected as secretary by an unanimous vote.

Heather Wills, of Unico Bank and the DPHA treasurer for the past four years, put in her resignation for the position as she will be relocating to a different branch of the bank.

Jan Alsup, assistant vice president branch manager of Unico Bank in Park Hills, was elected as the new treasurer by unanimous vote.

David Easter was re-elected as president by an unanimous vote.

The vice president position has been left open temporarily. Chris Hulsey, of Hulsey Properties LLC, was nominated for the position after the meeting and Secretary Coleman is working on collecting votes from association members via email ballot this week.

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Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3628, or at bradford@dailyjournalonline.com.

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