A new view of the city

Published 10:28 am Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A local business is hoping to give people a closer look at downtown Dowagiac, without even having to leave their homes.

Employees with computer repair store Dowagiac IT3 are looking to install a new weather camera on the roof of their new downtown storefront, located at the former location of Shirley’s Flowers on Front Street. The camera, which would be pointed toward the intersection of Front and Commercial streets, would stream footage directly to the Internet, giving people a bird’s eye view of the city at anytime from any location.

The camera can help with people are who planning a trip to the city from out-of-town, so they can see what the current weather conditions are before heading out, said Dowagiac IT3 Brian Antisdel.

“Instead of checking what the news is saying, they can get a live feed of what’s going on at the moment,” Antisdel said.

The business owner has been looking to install a publicly-viewable camera for the last several months, he said. He was finally able to make that goal possible after receiving a $3,000 camera from Benton Metal Recycling, which had a spare camera left over from the installation of a new security system at its plant in Benton Harbor, Antisdel said.

“It is a pan, tilt and zoom camera,” he said. “It’s all-weather, all-purpose. It’s designed for security systems in places like casinos.”

Once installed, the camera’s footage will be broadcast on a public webpage, along with information about Dowagiac, he said.

Besides used to monitor weather conditions, visitors can also use the footage for purposes like watching parades from home, the business owner said. It can also serve as a way to give homebound residents a way to see the city whenever they want, he said.

The business will also save footage for up to 30 days, which could assist police investigations in the case that a crime is caught on camera, Antisdel said.

“It [the camera] is there for the people,” he said.

The store owner is looking to have the new system up in place by the end of July, he said.