Harrisonville launches new website

bbashioum@demo-mo.comJune 21, 2013 

The city of Harrisonville’s website has a new name and look.

Harrisonville.com went live this month, and Community Information Specialist Sheryl Stanley says the newly designed site is easier to navigate.

A mobile version of the website was also incorporated into the redesign.

“Technology is changing so rapidly and our website was at that point 6 years old and out-of-date,” Stanley said. “We were losing functionality and really wanted to freshen it up, present a new face, and make it more user-friendly.”

Two of the most visable changes include greater use of visuals, as well as more organization in the site’s menu and navigation features.

The previous website allowed for residents to pay utility bills online and apply for permits, and with the new site, users can also now submit concerns, such as a streetlight outages or a potholees, through a functionality called “Request Tracker.”

“It’s a big enhancement for us so that they don’t have to call it in, and they can do it at anytime day or night,” Stanley said.

The site, launched June 6, was built in conjunction with CivicPlus, a nationwide government website provider, who built the city’s previous website.

“As people across the country have wanted to become more interactive with a website, we have tried to make our website serve the citizens,” Stanley said. “It’s another tool they can use to interact with the city and a way we could provide more transparency in the way government works.”

Harrisonville Systems Administrator Jeremy Smith said the former domain, ci.harrisonville.mo.us, was somewhat difficult to direct people to.

“That was determined a critical part of the marketing of the city as a whole,” Smith said. “Some of that had to do with the ease of sending e-mail. Some of it was also to just reach the ‘.com’ level.”

Economic Development Manager Jim Clarke and Recreation Services Manager John Forbis assisted with the design process.

Forbis said his department page is easier to access due to a new, large button on the site’s homepage.

“On our pages, you will eventually start seeing a ‘register here’ link which will take you to a separate site that we host to register online,” Forbis said.

Clarke also has some ideas to better use the web in his role with the city.

“One of my goals is just expand the breadth of economic development initiatives and resources for the community,” Clarke said.

He has included a variety of resources on the website, including tips for small business owners, entrepreneurs and marketing.

In the near future, he is also looking to include information about available commercial lots and buildings for sale.

Stanley also said the city is looking forward to begin developing a social media presence through Facebook and Twitter.

Alderman Bret Reece thanked the city staff for their work on the website during the June 17 Board of Aldermen meeting.

In other meeting business, the BOA took the following actions:

Appointed David Atkinson to the Historic Preservation Commission; Billy Tudor to the Enhanced Enterprise Zone Board; and reappointed Brent Caruthers, Clint Miller and Ed Roberts to the Park Board.

Approved a special request from Ernest Marble, 2805 E. Outer Rd, to keep no more than 50 chickens, 20 ducks, 10 goats and one donkey on his property.

Approved a resolution authorizing the city administrator to execute an agreement with Hanrahan Paving for asphalt overlay services not to exceed $118,092.60.

Approved a resolution authorizing the city administrator to execute an agreement with Vance Brothers for micro-surfacing services not to exceed $30,890.86.

Approved an ordinance to allow both canoes and kayaks on Lake Harrisonville.

Heard an audit report by Dana F. Cole for the year ending Dec. 31, 2012.

The report indicated a net position increase in governmental activities by $519,871 and a net position increase in business-type activities by nearly $1.7 million. Cole noted all interfund balances reconcile out, and funds were within the authorized budget.

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