Calling its current website "inadequate" and "difficult," Corbin Mayor Willard McBurney said he wants to make the city’s Internet website more useful and user friendly to visitors by turning it into a one-stop information source that will unify municipal government with tourism and economic development.
McBurney said this week that a committee will likely be formed in the near future to help chart a course for a new city of Corbin website. The committee will consist of members of the local Chamber of Commerce, Office of Economic Development, the City Utilities Commission and the Tourism Commission. He said the idea for a more unified website sprang from recent meetings involving local leaders and facilitators who have been working recently to help them implement proposed community improvements.
"I think it is very important for us to do this," McBurney said. "Say someone from out of town wants information on Corbin. If they come to an inadequate website they are going to get the impression that the town is not a progressive town. They may move on to some town that has a nicer website and say ‘that is where we need to go.’ We don’t want that to happen."
McBurney said the city’s current website (www.corbin-ky.gov) is rarely updated and is often confusing. Some sections regarding city services or financial documents, for instance, contain little to no information at all and have been that way for years. He said he envisions partnering with other local entities and agencies to make one large website that everyone on the Internet can go to in order to get information about the city.
"I think everyone is interested in doing it," McBurney said. "We’d actually like to get a hold of people right away and get the ball rolling."
Corbin Economic Development Director Bruce Carpenter said he strongly supports taking the various websites of local agencies and rolling them into one.
"For whatever reason people are looking at Corbin, whether it be tourism, economic development opportunities, general information on the city or the Chamber, they should be able to go to one location for that information," Carpenter said. "I think the idea just makes everything more cohesive and easy for anyone who will view it. I’ve been a strong advocate of the one-stop-shop type website for a long time."
Carpenter, who also serves as Executive Director of the Corbin Chamber of Commerce, said both agencies are interested in taking part in discussions on the issue. McBurney said the Tourism Commission and City Utilities Commission also wanted to be involved.
"I would like for this to be like a big, electronic promotional billboard for our city," McBurney said. "We want people to know what is going on in Corbin with our different events and things like that. It’s just a great idea."
The Tourism Commission (www.corbinkytourism.com), Economic Development Agency (www.corbinky.gov), City Utilities (www.corbinutilities.com) and city all have separate website. Carpenter said discussions would have to take place to determine if those sites would be totally redesigned and rolled into the city website, or if the new city site would simply provide links to each agency.
McBurney said he hopes a new website can be in place by late summer.