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Official wants to get township online

August 17, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Washington Township is a wealthy community, a good place to live and work and it should have a Web site that reflects those qualities, Jerry Zeigler, code enforcement officer for the township, told the Township Supervisors Monday.

Zeigler tried to convince the five-member board that it should spend $1,200 to hire an Alexandria, Va., consultant to draft a set of specifications that Internet providers can use in submitting bids to develop the Web site.

Estimated costs to develop one for the township run as high as $20,000, Zeigler said.

A township home page would offer up-to-date messages from local officials, and the names and numbers of staffers and departments where questions should be directed or problems reported. It also would provide local information, including census data, tax information, and information about transportation, tourism and parks and recreation.

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Residents could use credit cards to pay taxes, tickets and renew business licenses. They also could find volunteer opportunities, check zoning regulations and surf local links, he said.

The supervisors, while agreeing with Zeigler on the need for a Web site, voted to table the request for further study.

"You're right. We ought to go first-class," said Supervisor Stewart McCleaf. "We'll have to do it in the future as the township grows, so we might as well do it now."

"It's not critical that we have to do this right away," said Supervisor James Kirby. "We want more information."

Zeigler said a Web site would save the township's office and professional staff time in answering the many routine phone calls it gets from residents. It also would post things like minutes of township meetings, he said.

The consultant would spend one day visiting the township, drive around to see what is here and meet with local government and police department officials to see what should be included in the bid specifications.

The supervisors also want members of the Washington Township Municipal Authority to participate in the process.

Supervisors President Art Cordell said the issue should be kept on the meeting agenda for further discussion.

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