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New website on the way for Port Orchard City Hall

With oversight from Councilman Fred Chang, the city of Port Orchard is looking to revamp its Web site and greatly expand the site’s offerings.

The Web site now provides access to council agendas, development codes and contact information, but with an increased budget, the city hopes to give the site a complete overhaul.

During a retreat last weekend, council agreed to double the $5,000 Web site budget to $10,000.

The Web site as it stands has served the city well, Chang said, but he wants to see an easier-to-read and more-usable site in the future.

“I think they’ve done a really good job with what they’ve had,” he said, “but they haven’t had the opportunity update it.”

Mayor Lary Coppola wants to model the new site after the Kitsap Economic Development Association page, found at www.kitsapeda.org.

He hopes the new site will feature more information and encourage citizen interaction, with on-line payment options for water bills and traffic fines, and public safety information such as the locations of sex offenders.

“There’s so much that we want to add to it that I can’t even give you the whole laundry list,” Coppola said.

Chang will oversee the site, but won’t do the actual design and.

Visit www.cityofportorchard.us to see the city’s Web site.

In other council business:

• At its most recent meeting, the council approved an ordinance allowing Coppola to sign a professional services agreement with Grant-Solutions, a grant-writing company.

The company could draft grants to acquire money for city-based projects. The decision came after a presentation from Kathleen Byrnes-Barrantes, a representative for Grant-Solutions, who attended the council’s recent retreat.

“It’s too long in coming,” Councilman Fred Olin said.

• Chang and City Clerk Michelle Merlino confirmed details of a green initiative launched by the city that will reduce the number of photocopies made and reduce paper use.

Agendas are now sent primarily through e-mail and posted on the Web site. Chang was unable to view the agenda easily on his computer and worried that residents would not have access to agendas.

Merlino assured Chang that hard copies are available to the public on request, and that city staff provides several copies for the public at meetings.

• City staff is expanding a little bit with the approval of a part-time associate planner to work with City Development Director James Weaver.

Merlino requested the council extend the position of administrative secretary, held by Nicole Stephens, to full time, which would make her eligible for medical benefits.

The council approved both requests.

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