WALKER -- The Cass County Board agreed to make more county information available to the public over the Internet, but declined Tuesday to spend money to modernize commissioner technology.
A motion from Commissioner Jim Demgen to provide FAX machines and cellular phones for commissioners died for lack of a second.
The board did vote to expand a process to make more parcel mapping information and permit applications forms available to the public over the Internet via the county Web site.
The board will seek requests for proposals for a person or business to develop the county Web site and maintain it.
Greg Proper, ProWest Associates, gave the board a demonstration during the board meeting on how information can be made available for a county-wide map, individual parcel information and property ownerships.
Environmental Services Director Paul Fairbanks reported it soon will be possible to obtain Cass County zoning permit applications and information via the Internet.
Proper predicted more employee time can be spent on regular work and less on directly serving the public when more of this data is available via the Internet.
Fewer people will need to come to the courthouse when this is implemented, because they will be able to access information from their homes and offices, Proper said.
The board authorized Tuesday spending $33,500 from a $75,000 fund for technical updating to buy software, hardware and programming to make more county information accessible.
Along with declining to buy FAXes and cellular phones for commissioners, the board declined to spend up to $2,000 per commissioner to buy portable computers for each commissioner who currently does not own a computer.
Commissioner Virgil Foster, who said he only recently went to a touch tone phone, questioned the potential additional cost to train commissioners to use the equipment, had it been purchased.
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