ST. MARYS — St. Marys City Councilors Monday night got a sneak peek at the city’s revamped online presence.
Personnel Director Sue Backs provided councilors with some highlights from the website. The new site, which is still found at CityofStMarys.net, of more streamlined and user-friendly than the current website.
“It’s going to be easy to use and its functional,” Backs said. “Most importantly, it’s going to be easy to maintain. We can keep adding additional information and change information.”
The website was designed by Minster firm Midnet Media. The new website also includes a slew of new features and is interactive by allowing visitors to obtain certain types of permits online as well as the ability to request city services and view council meetings.
Each city department also will include a frequently asked questions tab. Visitors to the website also will be able to make reports to city departments as well as submit anonymous tips to the police department.
The economic development tab for the city will direct visitors to StMarysDevelops.com. That site is maintained by Development Manager Susan Crotty and includes information for prospective developers regarding the city and its infrastructure.
The new website is scheduled to launch on Friday.
Councilors approved the first reading of an emergency appropriations ordinance by a 5-1 vote, with Councilor-at-large Ron Ginter voting against the measure. The request to read under suspension of rules failed. The bulk of the $29,000 request was to fund a trip for four city officials — Mayor Pat McGowan, Council President Dan Hoelscher, City Law Director Kraig Noble and Crotty — to Japan to visit to business officials who have operations in the city. Another component of the trip would be for officials to travel to St. Marys’ sister city of Awaji City. The trip is scheduled for April 23 to May 1. The appropriations request came out of last week’s finance committee meeting and receive unanimous support from committee members.
“I’m not ready for them to go to Japan,” Ginter said. “The economy is bad and everyone is talking about money. You have four of them going and I’m just against it.”
Councilor-at-large Jim Harris voiced his support for the trip.
“This is a marketing trip and we’ve had other trips in the past and through that and the sister cities organization we’ve gotten AAP, we’ve gotten Setex and Murotech,” Harris said. “I would love to have another 100 to 300 person facility sitting out there on McKinley Road.”
The legislation will be up for its second reading during the next council meeting.
In other business, councilors:
• Approved the first reading of an ordinance amending the codified ordinance relating to abandoned refrigerators. The amendment included a provision that would not apply to refrigerators that are locked solely by a magnetic device. Under current city law, no person shall abandon, discard or knowingly permit to remain on premises under their control, in a place accessible to children, any abandoned or discarded icebox, refrigerator or other airtight or semi-airtight container that has a capacity of one and a half cubic feet or more than an opening of 50 square inches or more and which has a door or lid equipped with a hinge, latch or other fastening device capable of securing such a door or lid without rendering such equipment harmless to human life by removing hinges, latches or other hardware which may cause a person to be confined inside. The measure does not apply to an appliance that is located inside a building occupied by a dealer, warehouseman or repairman. Harris said he believed the amendment was not necessary because a small child could still become trapped inside an appliance with a magnetic locking mechanism.
• Set an electric/communications meeting for 6 p.m. March 18 to discuss the electric rate study.
The next meeting of the St. Marys City Council is scheduled for 7 p.m. March 25 at the city building located along East Spring Street.