Council approves new pay station

Automated system at Huckleberry Harbor replaces cash box

Huckleberry Harbor is taking a step into the modern era by ditching the old-fashioned cash box used for the collection of daily boat launch fees and replacing it with an automated pay station.

According to the Park and Recreation Department, the old system required staff to use gloves and face masks when counting the collected fees due to persistent mold issues as well as encountering bee and hornet nests on a regular basis when emptying the cash box.

The automated pay station will allow for credit and debit card, cash and coin payments, as well as an increased level of compliance with launch permits.

The Shawano Common Council voted 5-1 Wednesday to approve a bid from Tapco Inc. of Milwaukee in the amount of $12,000 for the pay station.

Also approved was $1,000 needed to complete the concrete footing and other potential site preparations, and a monthly service fee of $50 for processing the credit and debit card payments.

The Park and Recreation Department had budgeted $15,000 for the pay station in its capital improvement budget.

However, roughly half the cost, $6,500, will come from a recreational boating fund grant from the Department of Natural Resources.

Alderman Bob Kurkiewicz cast the sole no vote.

“I voted against it during budget time and I think the fix did not necessarily need $12,000 to fix the concern of moldy money and bees,” Kurkiewicz said.