CAMDEN — Camden Village Council discussed procedures for demolishing blighted structures, and voted to move ahead with plans for a new municipal website, at its bimonthly meeting Thursday, Aug. 1.
Oxford, Ohio-based attorney Wayne Staton spoke on behalf of his client, village resident Eleanor Beckett, during the public participation portion of the meeting. Staton alleged Beckett’s property, a house located at 46 S. Main St. in Camden, was set to be demolished Aug. 12, and that his client only found out about the impending action by reading a public notice.
“We think she has every right to that property,” Staton told council members. “You can’t just take her property away without due process.”
Beckett has advertised the property for sale and is on the verge of securing a buyer, according to Staton, but is concerned the buyer will choose not to proceed if the property continues to be slated for demolition.
“We don’t want it torn down. We want it fixed,” councilman Kelly Doran told Staton. “If you have a buyer, then let’s find out how we can grease that process and get it sold and renovated.”
Debbie Mason, website specialist for Trenton-based technology consulting firm Tech Force Onsite LLC, spoke to council about plans to upgrade the village’s municipal website. Currently located at villageofcamden.us, the existing site is “old and very cumbersome,” Mason said.
A new site, according to Mason, would enable the village to post agendas and minutes for the council’s meetings, information about municipal codes and ordinances, demographic information, and photographs and contact information for village staff, as well as providing functionality that would allow residents to pay certain bills online.
“The website is going to be the face of the village for most people,” Mason said. “We can make it more user-friendly, take a lot of work off the shoulders of your staff, and create a comprehensive, professional online presence for the village.”
Mason said the web domains camdenoh.org, camdenohio.org, and villageofcamdenohio.org had been acquired by Tech Force for the village’s use. The website’s current “.us” extension may be preventing some residents from being able to access the site, according to Mason.
“The ‘.us’ extension is awkward and not very popular,” Mason said, noting the use of the extension could cause the village’s site not to show up in some web searches.
Moving ahead with the new site would entail an upfront cost of around $3,000, according to Mason, as well as a monthly fee of $150 for ongoing updates, maintenance, and tech support. Mason indicated the current contents of the Village of Camden website could be moved to the new domain by the time of their next council meeting Aug. 15.
Council member Debbie Hickman made a motion to proceed with the new website, to be located at the web address camdenohio.org, which was seconded by Doran. Council approved the measure by unanimous vote.