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Carthage, Mo., to Unveil New Website Amid Push to Digital

The contract, with GovOffice, will help the city present information in Spanish as well as make it easier to deliver services digitally instead of with paper. It's the city's first website upgrade since 2004.

by Tyler Wornell, The Joplin Globe / March 1, 2019

(TNS) — The city of Carthage, Mo., will be a launching a new website soon, making a leap into the 21st century to modernize and streamline operations and services for residents.

The Carthage City Council approved the contract for a new website last month, and it will cost the city a fee of $3,765 for each of the next three years. The upgrade will bring a new design and enhanced functionality.

City Administrator Tom Short said this is the first upgrade to the city's website since its inception in about 2004.

"With the emphasis on mobile device access to the site and the technology available to handle the change, from a timing standpoint, it was beneficial for the city to make the upgrade as technology is available to handle the specifics," Short said. "Another consideration was staff training and the ability to add features in the future."

Residents will be able to access virtually every city form, including applications for building permits, liquor licenses, food vendor licenses and taxi cab permits. The contract stipulates that most forms be ready by May 17, 2019, with others required to be posted by May 2020 at the latest.

"The installation of city forms (to the website) is prioritized on ones that are or were on the website and those that are evaluated on a usefulness basis for both the users and the staff," Short said. "Users will be able to experience the convenience of actively filling out forms that will be routed to the proper department online instead of printing out a PDF form to fill in by hand and submit (in some cases manually) to the appropriate department."

The new website will also have the capability of being translated to Spanish. Carthage's Hispanic population continues to grow and the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that Hispanics now make up 35 percent of the city's population.

Short said the upgraded website should launch sometime in the next 90 days. The city's contract is with GovOffice, a company that specializes in web services for government entities. The contract is for three years and can be terminated at any time by either the city or GovOffice.

©2019 The Joplin Globe (Joplin, Mo.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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