Cambridge to upgrade its Web site

By Rachel Kytonen

Cambridge Opportunity Community Web site will have a new look in the next few months.

During the Cambridge City Council meeting held Monday, May 16 at Cambridge City Hall, during the EDA portion of the meeting, the EDA board approved a contract with Golden Shovel Agency for $5,200 the first year and $5,400 the second year, for the purpose of Web site, hosting, maintenance, social media and site selector/property search tool of the Cambridge Opportunity Web page.

Cambridge Mayor Marlys Palmer cast the sole vote against the contract with Golden Shovel due to the costs associated with the contract.

John Marshall, with Golden Shovel, told the EDA that upgrading the Web site will give them an opportunity to be more competitive when it comes to attracting new business.

“This is an opportunity to get in the discussion,” Marshall said. “This is definitely a step in the right direction.”

Services Golden Shovel will provide include strategic social media planning, social media implementation of social medial tools, monthly blog posting and press release, weekly support and content assistance and updates, social media tools training, minimum of four hours a month of dedicated support and content management, unlimited phone and email support and EAGL-I GIS Site Selector Tool.

Palmer questioned the timing of the project, and questioned if part of the services Golden Shovel will provide is a duplication of services already offered.

“We already have local media coverage, a city newsletter, Web sites, etc.,” Palmer said. “Part of me thinks we should do this and part of me questions if this is the right time to do this.”

City Administrator Lynda Woulfe said updating the Web site will keep the city competitive with other cities also seeking new business.

“This is to keep us competitive with site selectors list,” Woulfe said. “This isn’t necessarily for us around here, but we need this to keep competitive for site selectors.”

Marshall demonstrated how the EAGL-I GIS Site Selector Tool would work. When a potential site selector clicks on the Web site and then clicks on a specific property they are interested in, a new info box pops up on the Web site and will provide them with detailed information about the property. He said the site selector tool also gives the site selectors an options box so they can select descriptions that specifically match what they are looking for.

“The site selectors want to be able to immediately find the information they are looking for,” Marshall said. “If they can’t find it on your Web site, they will move on and not even give your city any consideration.”

Councilor Bob Shogren asked Economic Development Director Stan Gustafson if he feels the contract with Golden Shovel is worth the cost, and if it will make a difference since Minnesota is not very business-friendly.

“My working relationship with Golden Shovel has been great,” Gustafson said. “We do hear good comments about our Web site right now, but I think this will make our site more noticeable. I think this is a move in the right direction. Minnesota is unique in itself, and we do have a lot of competition for business, but there is still a lot of good business here.”

Palmer said she feels Cambridge needs to promote itself, but said she couldn’t justify spending nearly $11,000 on the project.

“I really think this is important and we need to stay on top of our game, but think we have a few overlaps and we could look at before we spend this money,” Palmer said. “Taxpayers pay these bills and we already have the local media, newsletter, chambers, etc. doing a lot of promotion already for the city.”


800 megahertz update

Councilor Chris Caulk, who is also a sergeant with the Isanti County Sheriff’s office, gave the council an update on the 800 megahertz radio project.

Caulk said law enforcement, fire department, dispatch and all Isanti County first responders, will officially switch to the 800 megahertz radio program on Monday, May 23.

He said all the new radios are programmed, and training will also be completed by the end of the week.

The new 800 megahertz radio system will allow all county law enforcement agencies to communicate much easier with other law enforcement and first responder agencies regionally, and across the state.

“This will allow us to talk with Anoka County much easier,” Caulk explained. “This has been a long time coming. It was either spend more money to fix everything we had, or get on board with this.”

Caulk feels the citizens of Isanti County should also be excited about the new system.

“Our citizens will be served much better, and those who serve, will also be much safer with this new system,” Caulk said.


In other action the council:

• Approved a lease extension for three years with the Cambridge Area Chamber of Commerce for its unit in the City Center Mall. The Chamber will pay $457.88 or $5,494.50 annually for its space in the mall.

• Approved a lease extension for three years with the Rum River Special Education Cooperative for its two units in the City Center Mall. The Cooperative will pay $4,774.92 monthly or $57,299 annually for its space in the mall.

• Approved dedicating the 2002 Chevy Impala that was previously declared as surplus property to the Cambridge Fire Department. The vehicle will primarily be used by the fire chief as a emergency response/command vehicle. The vehicle will not be used for any personal use. It will only be used by the fire chief when he’s going to a call, or for firefighters travelling to approved training sessions. When the fire chief is on vacation, the car will be assigned to a different firefighter, as assigned by the chief.

• Approved the renewal of 2011 intoxicating liquor licenses to the American Legion, Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar, Cambridge Bar and Grill and Sidelines Sports Grill.

• Approved a parade permit for the Minnesota Patriot Guard for the parade that will go through Cambridge on Saturday, June 18. The parade will have a midway stop at the Cambridge Armed Forces and Reserve Community Center, and will leave the Center around 2:45 p.m. and travel through the Cambridge community. Residents are encouraged to line the streets and offer their support. Patrol officers will also be monitoring traffic so the parade runs smoothly.