Town continues Internet upgrade

Town of Catawba officials voted Monday to continue improving the town's online presence with an upgraded website.

The town will spend $1,200 on a program to add customization features to, a website that currently gives the town "a limited amount of flexibility," said Catawba Town Manager Brian Barnett.

During the council's April meeting, Barnett showed council members the town of Elizabethtown's website, which will resemble Catawba's new website, once it is completed.

"It'll be the same concept, but it will be geared toward Catawba," Barnett said.

The company that will be used for the website upgrade gave Barnett a quote for services starting at $600 and increasing by $600 increments to $2,400.

Barnett told Town Council he felt that $1,200 will give the town the website it needs. The one-time $1,200 fee allows Catawba to retain control of what goes on the website, including photographs and other town business.

Council members discussed spending the cash before approving the expense.

"I don't think it's a bad idea. I'm just wondering if it's money we need to spend right now," said council member Jeff Isenhour, before asking Barnett where the town will get the money used to fund the website upgrade.

Barnett told council members he could move the funding from salaries not currently being utilized by the town.

"If it's going to give the town a boost, (I think we should do it)," said Catawba Mayor Vance Readling.

Council voted unanimously to spend the money on the website upgrade, and Barnett said the revisions will be completed after the start of the upcoming fiscal year.

The website upgrade is one of several steps to increase the town of Catawba's online presence. Since Barnett started as town manager in the fall, he started efforts to include more information about town business online, including meeting minutes on the town's Facebook page, as well as a Twitter feed.

In other business
Catawba Town Council passed a resolution in opposition to job loss from the potential closure of the Hickory Mail Processing and Distribution Center in Conover.

Norman Allen, who works at the plant, spoke with council members about how mail service could suffer if the Hickory facility was consolidated with the Greensboro facility, as proposed by the United States Postal Service.

Members from the postal service recently had a peaceful gathering at the Catawba Post Office, where they gathered signatures from about 70 people who opposed the facility closing.

The resolution passed unanimously.