IT program set to ‘bring the 21st century’ to Norfolk Parks and Recreation | News

Signing up for everything from Norfolk Water Park to renting a shelter at Ta-Ha-Zouka Park should be easier this spring.

Norfolk City Council recently approved an agreement with Active Network for an online registration program covering, for example, registration for the AquaVenture leisure program, registration of season pass holders, rental of shelters, swimming lessons, campground reservations and admission to AquaVenture.

The cost of the software to the city is $23,035 with an annual fee of $12,500. The service is expected to go live in April.

Nathan Powell, director of parks and recreation for Norfolk, said there was a 3% transaction fee, which is about the same as what the city currently charges.

All major cities in Nebraska now offer such online services except Bellevue, Powell said.

City officials have reported issues with the old system, including times when it “freezes.” One day last summer, for example, it was estimated that around 800 people attended AquaVenture, but the online service froze at around 300, so the totals were off.

Powell said with the convenience of having a working system, he suspects Norfolk will be used more. People like the convenience of registering online instead of queuing, he said.

Also, additional features could be added to this program.

Councilman Gary L. Jackson asked how much revenue the water park generated last year that wasn’t immediately available.

Councilor Rob Merrill asked if a non-profit wanted to run a 5k run at Ta-Ha-Zouka Park, for example, would this system work for that?

“Absolutely,” Powell said. “We work with a lot of partnerships where you have art classes at local art stores and they can organize something through (our program)…and they can organize (a charity run) through our program.”

Councilman Corey Granquist asked if this program would come from a website or if there would be an app.

Powell said it was web-based, but would work on mobile devices and could probably have an app.

Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning said in addition to user convenience, the new program is expected to save city staff and administrative time.

“Would it be fair to say that we are bringing the 21st century to our parks and recreation? asked Moenning.

“That’s right,” Powell said.

Gordon K. Morehouse