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Centerville to launch new website, sets dates for Christmas parade

CENTERVILLE -- City Council gave the go ahead Tuesday to get the city a new website.

The new site will cost the city a one-time fee of $4,000.

However, Patrick Eidson, city administrator, told council the new site will save taxpayers money in the long run because it will put update capabilities and content management in the hands of city employees and will not require the sort of annual fees to web developers for site maintenance Centerville currently pays.

The new site will be created for the city by the Middle Georgia Regional Commission, a not-for-profit agency that serves Middle Georgia communities. MGRC representatives told the council that they will build the site according to city wishes, provide training in content management and provide future consultation on the site for the one-time fee.

MGRC will now begin the development process with city workers which should result in a new site being launched in early 2013.

Mayor John Harley said the new site will play a more crucial role in marketing the city as well as in complying with Freedom of Information Act requirements placed on municipalities.

Council members and city workers have voiced complaints in the past about the difficulty in getting updates made to its current site through second-party contractors.

Also Tuesday, council set the date of this year’s lighted Christmas parade for the evening of December 1.

Council also voted to make the first Saturday in December the ongoing date of the parade.

Eidson told council the early date is necessary so the Northside High School marching band could participate. Centerville ran into difficulty last year getting bands to participate due to seasonal conflicts. Eidson said a tentative agreement had been made with Northside that the band would participate on that date and that other middle and high school bands may follow suit.

Eidson also said in discussing the date with officials of the Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce, sponsors of the Warner Robins parade, tentative agreements were made that if Centerville would commit long term to the evening of the first Saturday then Warner Robins would commit to the morning of the first Saturday.

Councilman Jonathan Nichols said doing so would allow Centerville to present the area’s premier lighted parade each year.

Also Tuesday, at Harley’s request, council passed a resolution urging Congress and President Barack Obama to pass a budget by January 2013.

The resolution asks the federal government to “find a solution to sequestration” or the mandatory budget cuts that will take place if there is no budget.

Harley said the resolution was suggested by Centerville and Georgia’s legislative delegation.

Councilman Ed Tucker said his first impression had been not to get the city involved but upon reflection, he said if the Centerville council had run up a debt and refused to pass a budget as has happened on the federal level, that no councilman would be able to hold his seat at re-election.

He said the federal government should listen to and take the example of smaller communities like Centerville that pass responsible budgets.

Tucker also noted the impact that sequestration resulting from no budget would have on the military and on the local economy.

Contact Michael W. Pannell at mwpannell@gmail.com.

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