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Web site offers new way to pay

by Shawn Gainer

STAFF WRITER

The City of Clarksburg recently added a feature to its Web site that allows people to pay parking tickets online with a credit card.

Within the next two weeks, people will also be able to use the credit card payment feature to pay business and occupation taxes, fire service fees and parking space lease fees, said Jeff Mikorski, director of economic and community development. Also, people can use the site to purchase "millennium bricks" from the Clarksburg Millennium Committee.

"Fines and fees are not the most fun things to deal with. We wanted to make it more convenient by providing 24/7 access," Mikorski said. "We also wanted to be helpful to people who have busy schedules and may not be able to come to city departments during regular business hours."

The Web site, which can be located on the Internet at www.clarksburg.com, was established March 28, 1996 to promote the city and increase contact with residents, Mikorski said.

"We wanted to let residents have access to updated information such as City Council minutes and city contact numbers. We also wanted to show off the city to visitors and businesses that might be interested in locating in the area," he said.

Mikorski said he regularly updates photographs, council minutes and the city hall calendar.

"We're hoping that making the minutes available on the Web site will help people get background on what's going on," he said. "We want to encourage people to come to council meetings and speak out on issues. Contact with residents is one of our top priorities."

The Web site received an award from the West Virginia Municipal League in 1997. The site has had more than 70,000 hits in its four years of existence, and 1,141 hits between June 17 and July 18 this year, Mikorski said.

"We're surprised by the amount of traffic it does get. A lot of the site visits and feedback we get comes from former residents who have relocated, especially ones who still have relatives here," he said. "They're the group of people who seem happiest with the Web site."

Mikorski added that one site feature popular with former residents is the "downtown web cam" which can be accessed through a link to the city's Internet provider.

"We get a lot of comments from people who used to live here," he said. "They say it reminds them of shopping downtown."

Staff writer Shawn Gainer can be reached at 626-1442.

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