Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

News

March 26, 2013

Aviation Board considers website upgrades

Greensburg — At the regular meeting of the Greensburg Board of Aviation Commissioners Monday night, Steve Hodgson, owner and operator of web-design company Street Smart Inc., addressed the board regarding expansion of its presence on the City of Greensburg’s website (www.cityofgreensburg.com).

Street Smart creates and maintains that site, working with various city departments to keep the various sections up-to-date, including the Board of Works, the City Council and the TIFF Board.

“It’s recently come to my attention,” Hodgson said, “that you want to expand what you have on the city’s website. If I’m not mistaken, I think what you have right now is a page and that you’d like to expand that and be able to add content. That’s what we’re here for.”

Hodgson suggested that the board might update the site with information such as financial reports, ongoing news and available hangar rentals.

The commissioners agreed and expressed interested in also including information about Airport Awareness Day and fuel prices.

Commissioner Don Whipple went a step further, suggesting that the site include information about local hotels and various other Decatur County attractions.

Hodgson was hesitant regarding such additions. “This is a government website; it’s designed for the municipal part of government. We post minutes and audio from city meetings. Business isn’t part of government, and you don’t really want to promote local businesses, because that shows favoritism.”

Melanie Maxwell’s (director of Decatur County tourism) portion of the Greensburg site, Hodgson added, has more flexibility for promoting tourism.

“There’s nothing that says you can’t direct site visitors to look at visitgreensburg.com,” he said.

Whipple “agreed and disagreed.” Such information, he contended, is important to running an airport and attracting air traffic. From a practical standpoint, he said, potential users of any airport are interested in the types of amenities available in the city whose airport they use.

Agreed Ernstes, “Well, they got a call this morning out at the airport, wanting to know the hotels. They’re flying in tomorrow at noon, and they wanted to go ahead and make arrangements to get their hotel, plus a rental car, I think.”

Hodgson conceded that listing city hotels on the site might be acceptable, provided that no area hotels are left off the list, thus avoiding the appearance of favoritism.

Replied Whipple, “That would be the point. You’d want to list them all.” He added that the board should avoid “promoting too much,” on the site, but supported using links to send visitors elsewhere for further information.

The one-time cost for adding additional content to the site through Street Smarts, Hodgson said, is $400. The city, he added, pays all site-related maintenance costs.

“After that initial setup fee,” he said, “it’s unlimited. After that, the opportunities are endless. You’re welcome to update the site every single day if you want — for no additional costs.”

The Board agreed that Hodgson’s services are worthwhile, and formed a two-person exploratory committee to consider the content they’d like to add to the site. They will again address the issue at the board’s April meeting.

Also on Monday, board treasurer Jon Dooley reported that the airport’s three financial accounts, the Airport Improvement account, the Aviation Rotary Fuel account, and the Airport Operation account, hold totals of $70,911.94, $61,628.47 and $203,176.69, respectively. The total for the three accounts, Dooley reported, is $335,717.10.  

The board also voted Monday night to return its monthly meeting start time to 7 p.m.

The next regular meeting of the Greensburg Board of Aviation Commissioners will be held at 7 p.m., April 29, at City Hall.

Contact: Rob Cox at 812-663-3111 x7011.

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