Presque Isle municipal government launches streamlined website

11 months ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — This month the Presque Isle municipal government launched its new website after eight months of design, edits and reviews.

The city’s website was launched in early August and is a process the city began in 2020, according to City Manager Martin Puckett. Approximately five website design companies were reviewed at the end of 2022, with Revize chosen to design Presque Isle’s municipal government website.

Presque Isle’s municipal website is streamlined to be compatible with smartphones and tablets, including making permit applications available on those devices. Site plan reviews and hearing applications for the zoning board of appeals are available on the city’s website now as well.

“Once the website was drafted and everyone understood the design concepts, then each department was editing their own pages,” said Galen Weibley, Economic and Community Development director for Presque Isle.

Presque Isle has gone paperless for all building and code enforcement permits as of January 2023, according to Weibley. All other permitting processes have been streamlined to online as well.

Presque Isle is having a record year for permit revenue through the code enforcement department with 78 percent of electric permits, 75 percent of plumbing permits and 71 percent of the certificate of occupancy permits being paid through online credit card payments, Weibley said.

More city departments, such as the Economic and Community Development Office, have applications available online rather than having a pdf file that residents print out and send back by scanning and faxing them.

Application submissions and payments online are encrypted, making them more secure for people to use.

Another new feature is vital record requests such as birth, marriage and death certificates are available online for residents to request and purchase, saving residents a trip to city hall. The records will be sent through the mail and not online to the person requesting them, according to City Clerk Kim Finnamore.

Developers hired in other states can now submit their applications and payments for building permits online.

Links to a city council meeting live-stream can be accessed through the city’s Youtube channel.

Community events will be put onto the online calendar after being reviewed by Puckett, Weibley or Patricia Jandreau, executive assistant to the city manager.

Residents can also sign up for alerts for disasters like floods, or road closures, and notifications of calendar events happening around the city and surrounding communities. Agendas and minutes for the Development Fund, Planning Board, City Council and Zoning Board can be added to the notifications too. Notifications are sent to residents’ phones or email addresses.

Phone numbers for each department can be auto-dialed by clicking on their links on a smartphone device.

Presque Isle’s website has been aggressively planned after the COVID-19 pandemic through an informal group of staff members from various departments including Weibley, Pucket, Jandreau, finance director Brad Turner and human resources director Kellie Chapman.