Posted on

Milltown offers support for countywide website project

Milltown offers support for countywide website project Milltown offers support for countywide website project
Chris Adams, Contributing Writer

The Milltown Town Council earlier this month agreed to submit a letter of support for the Community Foundation of Crawford County’s application of a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to develop a countywide website.

CFCC Executive Director Christine Harbeson requested the letter at the council’s Jan. 13 meeting at which she explained the grant would allow for the creation of a central website that would include county businesses and tourist attractions “and all of the different things that Crawford County has to offer.” A key component of the website, she explained, would be a community calendar where organizations could list their events.

“In time — it wouldn’t happen right away because people have to get used to how things work — but, hopefully, then we wouldn’t see, like, two festivals on the same night in two different towns in the county,” Harbeson said. “Hopefully, we might see one one week and one the next week.

“What we want to see is more activity in Crawford County that the community can take advantage of, and that would encourage tourism to our community.”

Besides applying for the grant, which, Harbeson said, is “virtually assured,” the CFCC would hire the firm that would take care of the pre- and post-marketing of the website, as well as build the site, including the community calendar.

Harbeson said the CFCC would pay for everything for the first four years, but, once it receives the grant, which she hopes would be by June, work would begin on a sustainability plan.

“So, while paying for everything upfront is great, we want to make sure this thing keeps going and lasts,” she said, explaining education is key so that the participating organizations keep the calendar updated.

For those wanting a sneak peek of what the website would be like, Harbeson directed them to Perry County’s site,

“They have done a great deal of combining of different organizations under that one umbrella,” she said.

Harbeson said the CFCC realizes that for such a website in Crawford County to be a success, internet speeds there must improve.

“We’re not so short-sighted to (not) realize that we have a connectivity issue in Crawford County,” she said. “My personal goal is that we would see fiber and this calendar idea basically come to a head at about the same time.

“So, we’re looking at about a year, two years down the road before they’re both fully operational, but we believe this would really bring us an edge in Crawford County to have a centralized site like that.”

Council member Jean Melton, who also serves as vice chair of the CFCC Board of Directors, praised Lilly Endowment for making the grant dollars available.

“This is just another example of how Lilly is supporting different regions of the state … I think it’s very important that we support this project, because it won’t just support the town of Milltown, it will benefit all of Crawford County,” she said.

In other matters, the council:

Voted 3-0, following a motion by Melton that was seconded by new member Justin Barnes, to extend Ray Saylor’s resignation as police chief through Jan. 31. Saylor’s resignation originally was to take effect Dec. 31, but the council, as of that night’s meeting, was still in the process of finding his successor.

Voted 3-0, following a motion by Barnes that was seconded by Melton, to renew the annual contract of wastewater treatment plant operator Steve Tolliver.

Announced it would meet in executive session on Jan. 20 to interview applicants for the police chief position and to conduct a 90-day employee review of Josh Breeding, who was hired as town manager at the end of September.