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Kenai launches new city website

Posted: May 31, 2014 - 9:55pm  |  Updated: May 31, 2014 - 10:40pm

Internet surfers interested in doing business in the City of Kenai or visitors interested in life at the mouth of the Kenai River have a new website to check out.

The City of Kenai launched it’s new website Thursday with a new design, a gallery of local scenic photos on the home page and multiple features intended to make accessing city forms and information easier, said Kenai City Clerk Saundra Modigh.

Users can expect more updated information on city departments, an interactive map, an ability to subscribe to public notices and a search functionality, which Modigh said is a huge new feature that should make information easier to find.

The website also has social media integration so users can share page links to Facebook or Twitter, Modigh said.

Modigh said she had been working on the website with Dan Castimore, the city computer technician for more than a year. Jessie Glaves of Alaska Computer Consultants developed the website.

Modigh said the old website used Adobe Dreamweaver, which she found to be complicated and in need of an upgrade. While she said she is not a web programmer or designer, she is responsible for providing new information from council meeting agendas and calendar events. The new site is a content managing system and provides quick updates to citizens.

“In previous years the city contracted a third party to manage updates, which created a waiting period to have things uploaded to the website,” she said. “Although I have learned how to use the software and now manage our updates in-house, I wanted the city to have a more updated and user-friendly website to disseminate information to our residents.”

The website has more content with five headings – living here, visiting, government, doing business and events. Under living here, people can learn more about Kenai’s Personal Use Fishery. Residents can pay utilities or apply for a business license under doing business.

Throughout the site scenic photos courtesy of Gary Harris offer a visual of the area with photographs of the beach, mountains, wildlife and historic old town.

Mayor Pat Porter said the website is beautiful and easy to maneuver around. While she said she is not the most tech savvy user, new features like being able to subscribe to public notices will be a benefit for residents who want to get information quickly.

“Let;’s say there is someone who is really interested about what the parks and recreation or library commissions do, they can fill in their name and email and receive all the notices,” she said. “The times are changing and it is vital to get information out to people as soon as possible.”

Porter said she loves the photos because they give people a visual image of why it’s great to live in Kenai and would like to see more photos added from the community.

She said Modigh and Castimore worked hard to develop an updated website and beat their June 1 deadline.

Modigh said as is the case with new websites, there may be technical glitches that will need to be resolved. To view the website, visit www.ci.kenai.ak.us

Reach Dan Balmer at daniel.balmer@peninsulaclarion.com

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