- Associated Press - Saturday, March 26, 2016

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) - Some cities in southern Illinois are looking to improve municipal websites.

Interim Carbondale City Manager Gary Williams said city websites are becoming more vital with people’s reliance on technology. He told the (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan (http://bit.ly/1LIimAT ) that websites “need to be easily navigable and user-friendly.”

The most common comment Carbondale gets, Williams said, is that people want to access information more quickly. He said the city has funds in its fiscal year 2017 budget to upgrade its website.

Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens says the city’s website isn’t the fastest outlet to passing along information.

“It seems that social media has slowly overtaken city websites in terms of disseminating information quickly,” he said.

Murphysboro’s website could do better at keeping information current and posting recent news, Stephens said. He said that has been hard because the city’s information technology director has worked part-time, with other duties seeming to take a higher priority of the employee’s time.

Stephens hopes change is coming to Murphysboro’s website, and his goal is to have it updated more frequently and have a new design. He said the city has added a part-time position to help the IT director.

“I would like our website to be one of the best in the nation,” Stephens said.

Williams said he’d like to see city websites, especially Carbondale, create a “one-stop” atmosphere that allows residents to report complaints, pay bills, submit forms and check account statuses all on the website.

“It is a much more efficient interaction between the residents and the city,” he said.

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Information from: Southern Illinoisan, http://www.southernillinoisan.com

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