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Clanton launches new website

The city of Clanton launched a new and expanded website last weekend to give residents and businesses better access to city information and documents.

In cooperation with Rick Russell and Susan Rickles of Clanton’s Community Development and Building Officials office as well as councilwoman Mary Mell Smith, the site is designed and maintained by Peach Network, LLC.

Clanton Police Chief Brian Stilwell and Fire Chief David Driver also made contributions on the site improvement.

In a press release, site designer Steve Thomas said the new site is a result of several years of comments, suggestions and questions from residents and city leaders.

Russell, the city building inspector, said once the site reaches the level city officials are hoping for, it should afford citizens the ability to gain access to different processes within the city offices. They could also download documents and forms online instead of visiting the office or requesting them by phone or fax.

“The new site makes things easier for the people of Clanton and the people of city hall to operate it,” Russell said. “We get a lot of requests from people outside of the city for copies of certain forms where we have to take the extra time to fax and email. We want to get to a point where the bulk of these documents can be downloaded.”

Aspects of the old website suggested maintenance was a longtime coming.

“The old one was around 10-years-old,” Rickles said. “With so many new things on the internet, we felt like we needed to upgrade and update it. It has potential to further upgrade.”

So far, city officials are pleased with the results.

“It’s still a work in progress,” Russell said. “We’ve still got a long way to go, but it’s a good base to start with.”

Russell said he receives daily calls from out-of-towners requesting documents and statistics on certain properties, zones, building permits and fees. He said the site should eliminate several of those phone calls.

“A lot of different things about the site will make life a lot easier around here,” he said.

The city’s first web site was created in 1996 by a small business operating in the area at the time. The Peach Network developed a new site released to the public in the spring of 2003. The Community Development Office collected information and made recommendations for a new design in 2007.

The redesign features details about city services, events, business and tourism along with an expanded Virtual Documents Library with copies of forms and ordinances frequently requested from city hall.

Residents and users can also access more comprehensive police and fire department pages as well as information on city parks and recreational locations.

The city web site is available at www.clanton.al.us or www.cityofclanton.com.