Welcome to Frenchtownboro.com, the borough’s official website.
Today, April 1, 2012 (yes, April Fools’ Day) Frenchtown joins the 21st Century.
The website is still in development, but there’s no longer any reason to delay its launch.
On it, you will find forms and documents that are crucial to the daily life of our town, links to the schools, the business community, the police and other government entities. There are lists of contacts in the borough to make it easy for residents to contact us — and a section that helps you determine who you should contact for particular problems.
The website includes information about past budgets and audits and other financial information. If, as we plan, Borough Council introduces the 2012 budget at its regular meeting on Wednesday, April 4, we’ll post it right away.
Our virtual office won’t replace the borough’s actual bricks-and-mortar office. But you will ultimately be able to go online to pay taxes, purchase pet licenses and overnight parking permits, and access other forms and information. Soon the website will contain the entire municipal code and the municipal Master Plan as well.
By visiting regularly, residents, business owners, property owners and visitor can learn when the mayor and Council meet — and the issues we’ll be discussing. People who are unable to make it to those public meetings (and those of the Municipal Land Use Board/Planning Board, the Shade Tree Commission and the soon-to-be-created Environmental Commission) will be able to read the minutes of those meetings online. You’ll be able to find out from home or work whether recycling is being picked up this week or next, what special events are planned, when a holiday will close Borough Hall, how you can volunteer or join one of Council’s ad hoc committees.
At its heart, the municipal website is a communication tool — a way for us to interact, keep current with what’s happening in town and grow closer. That’s really the point.
We welcome your input to improve the website and make it more helpful. Like Frenchtown itself, the website is a living thing, a work in progress. And, like the borough itself, the more everyone pitches in, the better it will be.
A note about the art and photographs. The paintings are those of John Schmidtberger whose studio Schmidtberger Fine Art is on Bridge Street. The photographs are just a few of about 100 taken by Bill Brokaw of Brokaw Photography, also on Bridge Street. Both have donated the images for our use. We thank them for their generosity and welcome other artists and photographers who may wish to make their work available as well. Coming soon: a space for the community to post its own images of Frenchtown life.
Finally, I wish to acknowledge River Net Computers on Front Street. Dave and Jimmy Cahill created this website from material we provided. (They get the credit for how it looks and how well it works. I take the blame for what doesn’t work and what’s missing.) Not only have they done a remarkable job in a relatively short period of time, they’ve pledged to maintain the website and keep it vital and vibrant and up-to-date — at no cost to the borough, which means no cost to taxpayers. We can’t thank them enough.