A new city website will have to wait. The city council turned down a plan Tuesday to use $41,559 from the Quality Growth Fund to create a new up-to-date website, designed by Vision Internet of Santa Monica, Calif.
The plan is to interface the city website with the Chamber of Commerce and Development website, so newcomers could search for development information from both places. For instance, a potential developer could learn about building permits (city info) as well as land available in the industrial park (development info.) Whether or not the city needs a new website is not in question, but the council stumbled over how to pay for it.
Chamber and Development Director Dan Mauk told that council that quality growth funds are available, but councilwoman Judy Pederson said a website is “an operational situation” and should be paid from the city budget, not from growth funds.
Pederson suggested the city use $25,000 in Municipal Light and Water surplus funds that was once earmarked for a new website, but the designation for the website was pulled at the council’s request before the budget was adopted.
“We should use that money and reduce the amount from the QGF to $16,559,” Pederson said.
Mayor Marc Kaschke and City Administrator Jim Hawks said perhaps another line item in the budget could be used to pay the full cost from city funds.
Councilman Larry Campbell agreed that money for a new website should come from the city and not the quality growth fund. He also thought the cost might be less.
“Shouldn’t we bid this out?” he asked. “How do we know if this company is the best one to use and if we’re getting the best price?”
Sarah Aden, who handles Internet Technology for the North Platte Public Library, said the she extensively researched companies, and Vision Internet has the best record of awards and clients.
Aden also takes care of the existing city website.
Jim Carman and Tim Barrett also spoke against using quality growth fund money.
On the final vote, the request was denied on a 5-3 vote with Pederson, Carman, McGuire, Campbell and Barrett voting no.
Aden told the Bulletin Wednesday that she plans to take bids and return to the council, probably early in 2013.
In other action, the council:
• Accepted bids and awarded a contract to Plum Creek Motors for two 2013 Chevy Impalas for the police department.
“It’s a shame we couldn’t do business locally for those cars,” Campbell said. He expressed concern that a local dealer would cooperate on warranty and service issues, or if the city would have to stand the time and cost of taking the cop cars to Lexington for the work.
Hawks said a local dealer didn’t even submit a bid.
• Approved (7-1) a lease agreement with Miller & Sons Golf Carts for iron Eagle Golf Course at the recommendation from Landscapes Golf Group, the management firm.
Councilman Dan McGuire voted no.
• Adopted a resolution approving claims and issuing warrants to First National Bank for $121,301.86 and to Great Western Bank in the amounts of $62,878.72, $56,340.98 and $73,177.58 referring to and incorporating the terms and conditions of ordinance #3845 relating to warrant financing passed and approved on April 12, 2012.