NEW PORT RICHEY — While a virtual world expands in cyberspace, parks and recreation centers remain grounded in non-digital reality. However, that could change to a degree as Pasco County intends to set up an online reservation and payment system for its facilities.
The County Commission has approved the online reservation capability, according to Parks and Recreation Director Rick Buckman.
“We still need to get the network system in place at all the parks and also train our staff to handle it,” Buckman commented in an email reply Friday.
“We hope to have this pushed out for public use by mid- to end-of summer,” Buckman added.
Parks and information technology staffs coordinate with Civic Plus, the software company that manages online content for Pasco, Buckman elaborated in a memo. The county also must complete a merchant application form with Elavon Inc., the gateway provider and payment processor.
Once the reservation and payment is in place, patrons can electronically reserve and pay to use shelters, pavilions, activity rooms, campgrounds and other recreation facilities.
The enhancement will allow people to view amenities, maps, directions and other information online.
“Costs to provide this first-rate customer service is estimated to be $14,500 per year,” Buckman said.
“Additional revenue generated is projected to be over $35,000,” Buckman emphasized.
The county will pass along the $2 transaction fee to customers for each reservation. The county will absorb the 2.95 percent service fee.
Pasco would institute a general rule against refunds. If a refund is granted, however, the customer would pay a $15 cancellation fee.