City of Alabaster Web site getting an upgrade

Citizens in Alabaster will soon be able to register their children for Parks and Recreation programs and reserve city facilities all from the comfort of their home.

The Alabaster City Council approved a resolution March 18 to enter into a contract with 38pages, an Internet marketing and development company, to update the city’s Web site.

During the meeting, Mayor David Frings announced the new Web site would allow citizens to be to do such things as registering their children for parks programs and paying the fees.

“We want to take City Hall to the people,” said City Administrator George Henry. “We want to be as efficient as possible.”

The contract with 38pages states the site should be ready within 60-70 days.

Henry said the site would also allow citizens to reserve and pay for city facility usage, like pavilions at Veterans Park.

Another addition to the site will be an expanded calendar, allowing the city to list more events, meetings and hearings than what is currently required by open government laws.

Henry said the city is also looking at ways for citizens to pay speeding tickets and court fees online, but those plans are in the early stages and will depend on logistics with other state and local agencies.

“I want this to be a portal of Alabaster information,” Henry said.

Henry has already expanded the Alabaster’s presence on the Web, creating a Facebook page for the city, the first to do so in the county.

The city’s Facebook page current has 246 fans, while the city’s Twitter account has 113 followers.

“Our elected officials encourage citizen participation,” Henry said.

Calera is the only other city in the county with a Facebook page.

“I want to figure out processes that can make things easier for our citizens,” Henry said. “We have to look at what we are doing, how we are doing it and can we do it better?”