BELLVILLE — The village of Bellville needs to take steps to upgrade its presentation on the web, members of the community development committee for the village were told last week.
Clint Knight, chairman of the committee, said he thinks economic development in the area of State Route 97 and I-71 would be aided if people using the village’s website could use it to click on something that would link them to more information. That would include what kind of building sites are available, or what kind of services are provided by the village.
Committee members and Mayor Teri Brenkus discussed their encounters in using the web site, and some said there was too much of the color white, and colors were not compelling.
Knight said there is a maintenance contract in use for the website, and 11.6 hours remain to be used.
Committee member Victor Swisher said he thinks the site is not as “user friendly as it could be” but people need to know how much traffic uses the site.
He said it could cost $6,000 to $8,000 to start to work on upgrading the site.
He said it “wouldn’t hurt to explore. It doesn’t hurt to ask.”
There are several businesses in the area that work on website design, Knight said.
Brenkus said she had worked on a site for Possum Run Greenhouse Plants and Provisions and knows there are groups in the area who can do website work.
Village administrator Larry Weirich said people need to know what’s available in an area.
“They’re not going to send somebody here to scope it out” without having information in advance, he said.
Brenkus said if the idea is to “spur growth” more information should be made available.
She said she wondered if people who have available land might be willing to kick in some money to improve the site.
Weirich said he thinks it’s important for people to know the area has room for growth. The fact the school district is in the process of building two new schools is good information potential developers should have, he said.
One item that needs to be changed is that when people click onto the site they see a Facebook icon. If they click on that icon, there is nothing there to support it.
“If you’re going to have a Facebook icon it has to go somewhere,” said Knight.
Swisher said maybe a zoning map could be put on the site, so people could see how much space is available for businesses.
Weirich said he could come up with some information that could be used, like facts that major intersections lead to Bellville, and water service can be hooked up to the village. Sewer information is available, he said.
People who have contacted him about possibly developing in this area has asked about what kind of paperwork they need to do to conform with village requirements.
The people associated with Love’s Real Estate, which is going to build a new facility at I-71 and State Route 97, had talked to him about possibly buildnig in this area.
Chad Bruner, Real Estate project manager with Love’s, had dealt with Weirich over the phone while assembling information about development areas, Weirich said.
One of the difficulties people have had when they decide they want to be established here is that there are numbers of inspectors, many of whom give different pieces of information, Weirich said. People with Richland County differ with people representing the state, he said.
Knight said his idea is that in the long run the web site should be interactive, so that people can easily get information.
Weirich said “this summer will tell the big story” because much is happening in the main development corridor.
He said “they say, if you build it, they will come.”
Avita Health Services is planning on building an office structure. Love’s will have a large service station with food available. The Speedway service station is expanding, putting in separate diesel lines.
Several people in the area have donated land which can be used for development necessities, like a new retention basin. The Gorman family donated land for that.