Marion hears from Web site creators

Marion city leaders listened to a proposal about building a Web site for the community and city government during the city commission’s Oct. 13 meeting.

Susan and John Howell of Kansas on the Net, their Wichita-based Web-page design business, attended the meeting to go over details and answer questions about their proposal.

Specifically, the Howells talked to commissioners about a 23-page site proposed specifically for city government. They also are proposing a 42-page site for the communty as a whole.

The city-government site would include such things as general information about the local airport, cemetery, and parks and recreation, as well as regularly updated entries such as city commission agenda and minutes and job openings in various city departments.

Susan Cooper, outgoing economic development director, introduced the Howells as being “small-community friendly” and quite experienced in producing Web sites for small towns and counties across Kansas.

“This is what they do for a living,” Cooper said.

Susan Howell strongly encouraged the commission to develop a professional site on the Web.

“People expect to find you on the Web these days,” she said. “People go to the Web for information-that’s why you want to have a site.”

The cost for creating the site would by $3,500, plus the cost of training local people to maintain it. They offered to train two people for $400.

Howell said the site could be completed in about three months, depending on how efficiently local sources can gather the information they would need.

Howell said they guarantee customer satisfaction; if a city does not think the site accomplishes its goal, it does not have to pay for it. Howell added that none of their customers have asked for their money back yet.

Commissioners responded positively during the presentation, but deferred a decision until their next meeting.

In other matters, the commission approved a 10-year tax abatement for Marion Die & Fixture following a public hearing that did not generate any comments. The tax abatement will cover two new pieces of equipment valued at $240,000.

The commission also appointed Duane Suffield to replace Cooper on the Marion County Economic Development Council.

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