The Duncan Banner

August 16, 2013

Duncan adds new look, info to website

Mike Smith
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — The city of Duncan has refreshed its website with a touristy, post-card look that also puts more information at your fingertips.

City Manager Jim Frieda says the old site just wasn’t cutting it anymore.

“It was antiquated is what it was,” he said. “It didn’t have a new look to it, it was lacking information and some of the information that was there was relatively old and had not been updated for a considerable length of time.’ But first — at the same address of — there’s the new look.

The home page of old site looked like letterhead on a city government document. Not real inviting.

The new one has “City of Duncan Oklahoma” in kind of “Hey, welcome here” type letters seen on postcards, with a ribbon below that says “Crapemyrtle Capital” to highlight the city’s abundance of crapemyrtle bushes.

That’s all imposed on a page-wide photo of Duncan’s Main Street at dusk, with glimmering street lights, illuminated store windows and the headlights of an approaching car.

The home page has subhead links to city government, individual departments, services, residents and business — all with more links to drill down for specific information.

The “Residents” link, for example, offers a directory of city hall, city hall hours, city maps, city ordinances, events, news, utility services and weather alerts.

The “Visitors” tab also has numerous links, including demographics.

Did you know, for example, that the city’s estimated 2012 population of 23,287, is down 0.06 percent  from 2010, or that 76.6 percent of folks in Duncan have been living in the same house for a year or more?

There’s lots of information on places to visit, including detailed maps of Duncan’s four lakes showing incoming roads, campsites, pavilions, boat ramps, fishing docks — not to mention a birds-eye view of where all the cozy coves are tucked.

The link to parks and lakes is not only listed below the “Visitors” subhead, but is on the top left of the home page where it is noticeable from the start. The same goes for links to view City Council agendas, city phone numbers and pay utilities online.

And the site includes a link at top for the city’s Facebook page, which is being used to let people know about things the city is doing.

A recent post, for example, was aimed at lake residents and visitors, telling them of the police department working to update E911 addresses.

“You may notice our police officers driving around the lake areas today so please do not be alarmed,” the posting says. “They will be driving a tan Suburban and tan Ford Crown Victoria.”

Facebook in itself, of course, allows folks to post whatever is on their mind, including questions and complaints. But that’s on the public’s end.

What the city — meaning anyone who works the city — puts on that page is restricted.

“Our only purpose (being on Facebook) is to give out information, basically — weather events, things that will affect the public in the future,” Frieda said. “It is not designed, nor will I allow, the staff to facilitate comments or disagreements with city policy.”

Mayor Gene Brown likes the new, improved website.

“I think it’s excellent,” he said. “After the failure of the street bond a lot of people we talked to were saying, ‘We didn’t know about this, we didn’t know about that,’ and this is a way to get more information out to the public.”

The goal going forward, Frieda said, is to keep the website updated.