As window to county government, a plethora of data is posted which includes; the county map used by the tax office, audio files from commissioners meetings and information on economic development possibilities.
The website project started in 2001, said Tom Reaves, Duplin’s Information Technology department head. “We hosted our first website and we developed here ourselves.”
Later, said Reaves, the previous county manager Fred Eldridge wanted an updated design. A new website was built, as well as others to serve specific departments and offices. “We saw back then that the internet was a new access to the public, and as they put it, ‘it is a window to the world’, but it’s a window that you can look in and out. They can see the world, but they can also see you, they see (us) 24-seven everyday, they see Duplin County. And you can show all the good things in Duplin County . And the big thing we saw the advantage was, is that we could reach out to our citizens.”
The website has grown into the central point of communication for the county, said Reaves.
The county averages about 430 visits/ hits a day to the main page, at www.duplincountync.com. The most popular website said Reaves is the “GIS” (Geographic Information Systems) website. The site contains a map with property information and is used by the register of deeds; the tool is free to anyone in the world.
Other interest lay in county commissioner meetings. There is a section for meetings online, he commented and it is slowly growing. Employees who can’t attend the meetings are listening to them online “They are very interested with what is going on in the county, and they go home and are able to listen to the meetings. More and more we are seeing outside people using this feature.”
In all there are eight websites that Duplin oversees, the sheriffs office, the events center, EMS, the county, the tourism department, the museum’s website and the economic development commissions website.
Acting director of the Economic Development Commission, Cynthia Potter said she uses the website as a marketing tool to help advertise and “promote a positive image of Duplin County”
Potter commented on the EDC’s website, which was recently revamped. “It is also a great source of information to citizens interested in seeing what Duplin County has to offer as well as being a great resource for students doing research.” Potter added that companies who may be relocating can use the internet to see exactly where land is available using the GIS.
Not all know how to use to the site, said Potter, but when they contact her she can help them over the phone explore all their opportunities.
Duplin’s web is still in it’s infancy, but as more in citizens in Duplin obtain internet access, more are expected to visit the sites, said Reaves.
The GIS website is, http://gis.duplincountync.com/
Michael Connolly can be reached at (910) 592-8137 ext. 120 or can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org