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Canal Fulton receives cyberspace makeover


The city of Canal Fulton is hoping to stretch its virtual community into some new territory.
In an effort to become more active in its governing, Canal Fulton earlier this month overhauled its official Web site as a vehicle for transparency and a conduit for more local information.

For years, Mayor John Grogan wanted to revamp the city's Web site and is pleased to have gotten the chance. The initial response, he said, was very welcoming.

"We have a lot of positive feedback," Grogan said. "We are still dealing with some crossover. When you Google the site, the old one comes up. You actually have to look two or three sites down to get the new Web site."

The new Web site, cityofcanalfulton-oh.gov, Grogan said, will eventually arrive at the top spot of search engine sites as more Internet users access the pages. Besides working out the occasional bugs, the site is where the mayor wants it to be.

"It's more interactive. There are more links to it. There is more community information that we could put out," he said. "I wanted it to be seasonally specific. When you log on to it in the summer months, the page will have a yellow color. And in the fall months, it will have more rustic colors."

Along with the aesthetics, the site, designed by Akron-based FGM Media, includes pages dedicated to city council members and various city departments that will be responsible for conveying specific information to residents.

"I wanted department heads to have pages to put out whatever is going on," Grogan said. "I wanted it to be something that we can all control and put our own stuff out there."

The site also includes Northwest Local School District information, city history and other city-related links.

Grogan said that he hopes to evolve the site into a vehicle that could broadcast city council meetings. In addition, the mayor mentioned that the city has been in talks with Massillon Cable in efforts to establish a community channel.

Grogan wants the channel to air high school athletic events, school board meetings and "anything that entails the wants of the Northwest school district area."

The mayor said that he wants the people of the quiet community off of Ohio 21 to use the Web site to become more in tune to what is going on with its government.

"Although you have (the local media) for the news," he said, "people can get home from work and look at our meetings, see what's been going on and what's been discussed. And that will invest them more into the decisions that are being made."

The Independent
Posted Jun 25, 2008 @ 09:46 PM