The Odessa Record -

Harrington news

Downtown business district forms WiFi hub


February 8, 2018


January 23, a group from the Harrington Public Development Authority met at the Post & Office to participate in a presentation via Zoom to the Wash. State Senate Economic Development & International Trade Committee in Olympia. Harrington’s PDA had been requested to participate by Senator Maralyn Chase (32nd District, Edmonds) via contact with Margie Hall. Those presenting locally were Margie Hall (Lincoln County EDC), Heather Slack (current president of PDA), Josh Steward (prior president of PDA) and Harrington Mayor Dillon Haas. The event attracted interest and several members of the community observed.

The Harrington presentation was part of a larger work session; the first 23 minutes of the broadcast session of the Senate Committee was a presentation “on the NoaNet system which provides some background to the public/private infrastructure partnerships that help make access possible.” Harrington’s session “showcased the successful ongoing PDA project of bringing hi-speed Internet to Harrington and the example of the value that broad-band access provides to the citizens, the economic development and the sustainability of rural towns.” For the entire text and presentation, visit

The details that brought this hometown success story to fruition follow. As readers of The Odessa Record might recall, Robert Iverson of Moses Lake in June of 2014 approached the City of Harrington with a vision to tap into the NoaNet connection and make it available to the public. At that time he anticipated building a tower on the side of city hall and was eagerly working with Allan Barth, President of the PDA, to get the buildings of the historic district involved in the project. In April of 2015, Robert Iverson, Spectrum Online, LLC, was granted a contract with the city under Mayor Gilliland to forge ahead with his project to be the local NoaNet Internet service provider. In September 2015, Margie Hall at the local PDA stated that the PDA would meet the criteria for a grant to obtain funds to provide wireless Internet in the downtown business district without interference of overhead lines. In the Jan 2016 meeting of the PDA, it was “announced that the PDA received a grant from Lincoln County Rural Development for $9,615.18. The project anticipated is to supply broadband service (NoaNet) in the business district on Third Street between Sherlock and Glover streets. The anticipated cost is projected to be $12,820.24. Twenty-five per cent of the cost in matching funds of $3,205.06 will be donated by Spectrum Online, LLC. Josh Steward stated Spectrum expects the supplies for the project to arrive by January 25. Iverson with Spectrum will contact Mayor Haas regarding final plans since the NoaNet connection is located in the basement of City Hall. As this project begins to unfold, the PDA will contact Margie Hall of the EDC for assistance in advertising this service to potential businesses interested in connecting.”

As predicted, this project unfolded according to these announcements and to date, Harrington buildings and businesses utilizing the high-speed NoaNet fiberoptic network include City Hall/City Library, Harrington Opera House, The Agency Building, The Post & Office, Studebaker Garage/Wild Hair Salon, Historic City Hall and Harrington Woodworking. Access to high-speed Internet also provides telecommuting opportunities for current and potential new residents. At this time, local residents known to be telecommuting are involved in businesses related to technology (Microsoft, Linkedin), banking and finance, insurance and event planning/coordination. Connections are available for all of the vacant buildings in the historic business district, making those buildings ideal for business opportunities.

Class at the Art Room

With the recent addition of broadband services at the Harrington Opera House, Stacey Timm Rasmussen volunteered her time to teach a class entitled “Android & iPhone Tips and Tricks” which was held February 1 at the Art Room of the Opera House. Thirteen “learners,” primarily senior citizens, came with gadgets in hand and issues in mind that they would like addressed. Rasmussen covered maps, calendars, apps, Wi-Fi and troubleshooting problems that the students were having. Stacey and her husband Lance live in Harrington and she teaches at Spokane Community College. Stacey is the daughter of Don and Nancy Timm of Harrington.

When participants were asked about the class, Rasmussen received high praise: “very willing to answer questions” and “helpful individually at very different levels with different phone types.” Lorraine Gilliland was pleased to learn two specific things: how to delete items from her phone and how to connect to Wi-Fi. She added that she learned several other tips. Peter Davenport stated that she did a “commendable job considering the mixed groups and was very knowledgeable about all types of phones.”

The Harrington Opera House Society would like to facilitate additional opportunities utilizing the new Wi-Fi and Internet services available. The public is encouraged to contact the Society with requests and ideas for classes and seminars at 509-253-4719.

Rummage at the Art Room

The Harrington Opera House Society will hold a mini-rummage sale Saturday, February 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. regardless of weather in the warm Art Room. The Ground Hog saw his shadow forecasting six more weeks of winter. Come stock up on books to read as you while away the remaining hours of winter. Other items will include vintage records, select crystal pieces, vintage and modern jewelry, framed art, and small gift ideas. Other larger items include a cabinet sewing machine, eight-foot car-top carrier and furniture.


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