City building web presence

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 2, 2000

Irontonians and potential employers surfing the Internet soon will have an additional stop they can make.

Wednesday, February 02, 2000

Irontonians and potential employers surfing the Internet soon will have an additional stop they can make. The city is making plans for the first official Ironton website, Mayor Bob Cleary said.

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"Right now, any person with Internet access may visit and see that it is under construction," Cleary said.

Planning for Ironton’s online debut began three to four months ago when the city contracted with a professional webmaster and received a generous donation of a web domain from Stephen Kingery, Ironton City Schools superintendent.

"In today’s time, you see so much of the websites," Cleary said. "It’s the wave of the future. If you’re not on the web somewhere, you’re left out."

And going global has many advantages, he added.

"One of the companies to locate in Wellston brought 50 to 60 jobs," Cleary said. "They found Wellston on the web."

The next company could find Ironton, Cleary said.

"If you’re looking for a community, especially if you’re an employer, you’ll be able to pull up our website and see the churches, the schools, our developable sites – vacant sites with the history of the area and square footage – and the city parks."

Statistics on the available workforce and pictures of the riverside city could influence a future employer to relocate here, just like the company that moved to Wellston, Cleary added.

"The company in Wellston looked for unemployment levels of the community, urbanization of the community, available community sites and how many workers – that’s how they ended up relocating here from Cincinnati," he said. "This is a real positive step for Ironton. We need to use every resource available to develop a new economy package for Ironton."

The exact date the website will be fully operational is not yet determined, but it will be soon, Cleary said.

"It takes time to develop a website and we are still gathering information to put on it," he said. "And websites are never really finished. You build it, develop it and put it on the web, and as times change, the website will change with us."

The website will be more than an excellent tool for city recruitment, however, Cleary said. He hopes area residents will rely on the site as a way to keep in touch with the community and the local government.

"There will be lots of additional features, such as free, web-based email and local weather forecasts," he said. "We’ll also have our own surveys. We’ll have our own little part that we will be able to change whenever we need to ask for citizen input. The website will be a great communication line between the residents and the mayor’s office."

The city’s site will be as simple as possible so that anyone can use it – even the mayor, Cleary said.

"We will try to have everything on that web page we can possibly fit into it," he said. "The more user friendly it is, the more actively it will be used. We want the website to be just another site they can type in and use at will."