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New-look Middletown Borough web site is ready to go, council told

By Dan Miller, danmiller@pressandjournal.com
Posted 4/18/17

A new website for the Borough of Middletown is ready to go live any day now.

Borough council during its April 18 meeting received a presentation on the new web site from Greg Yoder. The borough …

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New-look Middletown Borough web site is ready to go, council told

Posted

A new website for the Borough of Middletown is ready to go live any day now.

Borough council during its April 18 meeting received a presentation on the new web site from Greg Yoder. The borough hired Yoder to replace Strawberry Box Media, a company that council had hired to redo the borough website back in July 2016.


Yoder at that time had also submitted a proposal to develop and launch the borough web site at a cost of $6,000.

The new borough web site is “mobile friendly,” Yoder said. The site is set up so residents can easily get information on services such as when the trash is picked up on their street, the borough’s street sweeping and leaf pick up schedules, winter storm emergency information, evacuation routes, and more.

Residents will be able to fill out a form online to make a complaint or to inform the borough of a problem, such as a pothole that needs fixed on a particular street.

The web site uses a Word Press platform that can easily be accessed to change content or add content by members of borough staff, Yoder said.

Yoder said the site is ready to go as soon as the borough says it is ok.

In other news, council plans to put on the agenda of its next meeting on May 2 the purchase of new rifles and new AEDs for the police department.

The borough originally planned to buy 16 new rifles, one for each of the full and part-time officers on the force.

Instead, council decided to go with a compromise suggested by Mayor James H. Curry III to save money - buying nine new fully-outfitted rifles, one for each of the seven patrol vehicles that the department has now, plus two more vehicles that the department is planning to purchase.

The nine rifles fully outfitted will cost $18,846, Curry said.

The mayor also proposed that the department buy two new Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), plus replace the battery in an AED that the department already has in the police station. The two new AEDS and the battery will cost a total of $4,487.50, Curry said.

To fund the purchases, council is looking to back a suggestion from Councilor Ian Reddinger to use money from a fund that was originally set up to help pay for turning the Elks Theatre into a performing arts center.

In 2016 the Industrial and Commercial Development Authority, which owns the theater, committed two years worth of revenue to the borough from a cell tower lease - estimated at $30,000 a year - to go into the fund to support the Elks Theatre transformation project. Now this money will instead help fund purchases for the police department, as proposed by Reddinger.

The money was to go to the Elks Theatre when transforming the theater was to be done as a borough project. Now the borough is looking to turn ownership of the Elks Theatre over to the Friends of the Elks nonprofit group for $1. If the deal to transfer the theater to the Friends group falls through, council intends to put the theater up for sale on the open market.

In either case, transforming the theater into a performing arts center would no longer be a borough-owned project, so the borough funds that were to go toward the Elks Theatre project should instead go toward supporting the police purchases, Reddinger said.

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