New Bloomfield aldermen to offer city information website

The New Bloomfield Board of Aldermen voted Thursday night to hire a firm to provide a customized city website.

The firm would maintain technical service to operate the website and the city would be responsible for entering and updating information included on the website.

New Bloomfield City Clerk Terra Guittar said Municipal Content Management System of Smithville offered to provide a reduced-cost website service for small towns at a cost of $35 a month or $420 a year.

New Bloomfield Mayor Michael Lowe Sr. said people have been asking him about offering a city website. He recommended approval of the proposal.

General information about the city would be posted on the website. New Bloomfield residents also would have the option of linking to another secure city website to pay bills for city services online if desired.

If the city stopped mailing its newsletter and posted the information online, the cost of the website would be more than offset through the savings for postage, Alderwoman Rosemary Augustine said.

Guittar said city ordinances would be posted online and people also could report a need for city services, such as replacement of a burned-out streetlight.

Lowe said general information about the city also might attract new residents and new businesses.

Guittar said residents without Internet service could pick up a printed copy of the city’s newsletter at City Hall.

The board voted unanimously to approve hiring Municipal Content Management Systems to provide the city website service for $420 a year.

In other action, the board passed an ordinance keeping its electric utility franchise fee at 5 percent.

New Bloomfield City Attorney Mark Warren said the city needed to reset the ordinance at the current rate of 5 percent after it received notification from Ameren Missouri that the utility had received a 10 percent electric rate increase from the Missouri Public Service Commission.

If a utility receives more than a 7 percent rate increase, state law requires electric utilities to notify cities in its service area that each city needs to reduce its franchise fee in order to collect the same amount of money as last year.

But the city elected to reset the franchise fee at the full 5 percent, meaning it would receive about 10 percent more franchise fees from Ameren Missouri this year.

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