Powder Springs' Web presence is about to undergo construction.
The City Council agreed on Monday to pay the city’s current website provider, CivicPlus, slightly more than $1,000 extra a year—from $4,944 to $5,988—for a website upgrade and continued maintenance.
Originally, CivicPlus was going to charge a $2,500 fee for the revampment, said Robert Cillo, the city’s IT manager.
“I think because of my delay in getting back with them—they really wanted to continue our business and they really wanted to do the redesign—they cut off the $2,500,” he told the council at Monday afternoon’s work session.
The work session was moved from last week because of schedule conflicts and was held immediately before Monday’s agenda meeting.
The agreement with CivicPlus calls for another website upgrade at no cost four years after the upcoming one, Cillo said.
There isn’t a timetable yet because city officials must first work with the company to figure out the design and content of the site’s pages, he said.
“We’ll do like we did originally: They’ll come up with some basic ideas to start, and then we’ll look at those different layouts and decide what we want,” Cillo said, adding he would be contacting department heads to work on layouts for their respective pages.
One suggestion Cillo had was putting notifications at the top of the home page where residents would immediately see them.
“Like when we had the flood, we can put flood information up there, and it can constantly be scrolling across the Web page,” he said. “Let’s just say we had a big tournament or little league or something like that—you could even use that if there’s no emergency going on at the time.”
Cillo said he was pleased with the services provided by CivicPlus.
“I have absolutely not had one problem with them … I’ve never heard a complaint about their support or anything else,” he said.
Also on Monday, the City Council approved several code variances to allow the owners of the Shell gas station at the corner of Marietta Street and New Macland Road to begin planning for a new facility.
The new building will be constructed behind the current one, which will be removed after its replacement is complete.
Space will be added for two additional businesses attached to the station. Shell owner Omair Pasha said those businesses haven’t been decided on but could possibly be takeout restaurants.
The code variance that perhaps drew the most discussion from the council was concerning the dumpster being in front of the building instead of behind.
Mayor Pat Vaughn and Councilwoman Rosalyn Neal said at the work session that they were worried about the dumpster being unsightly.
Pasha said since the new building will on the back on the lot, there won’t be any room for the dumpster there.
“Obviously, our first instinct was to move it away from the front,” he said. “But where do we move it? … So this was the most logical place.”
The variance calls for the dumpster to be surrounded by walls so it will be shielded from the public eye.
“They’re going to know that it’s a structure, but you can conceal in terms of what type of structure it looks like,” said John Miller, the civil engineer assisting Pasha with the project.
During the agenda meeting, Vaughn said she was OK with the dumpster because there was no other option.
“Initially, we did have concerns with it being in the front, but it’s our understanding that there was no room,” she said. “If you put it in the back, you’d have to have a concrete drive (for a dump truck), and there is not room for that.”
After lengthy discussions at the work session and agenda meeting about adjustments to the variances, construction planning was permitted to proceed. The council agreed to give Pasha an extension—from 90 days to 270 days—to have his permit applications in.
Councilwoman Nancy Hudson was the only who dissented. She noted that council members just attended a training session with the Atlanta Regional Commission, where they were told to be wary of approving several variances at once for businesses.
Also at Monday’s meeting:
- JRM Management was awarded a $9,500 contract to provide services for the city’s Fourth of July celebration.
- The Atlanta Regional Commission was approved to the help the city at no expense with planning and improvement under its Quality Growth Implementation Assistance Program.
- Motorola was awarded a $9,400 annual contract renewal to provide Powder Springs police’s radio equipment. City Clerk Dawn Davis said that cost is up a couple hundred dollars from last year.
- The first weekend in August was proclaimed Robert L. Pearson Memorial Weekend. Pearson, a veteran who died in October at age 50 in a motorcycle accident, was heavily involved in the community, Vaughn said. “He was very, very sweet and very, very special,” she said. The weekend, organized by the American Legion, will include several events that will honor Pearson.