Lula is looking to strengthen its Internet presence with a website that’s informative, easy to use and promotes the historic northeast Hall County city.
And city officials are considering adding more money to the 2016-17 budget to pull off the task.
“A lot of communities — and we need to eventually get there — are putting everything out there,” City Manager Dennis Bergin said. “Their agendas are on the website, (and) all your ordinances are out there. Those are things we should set a goal to accomplish.”
The topic came up last week as the Lula City Council talked about next year’s budget, which takes effect July 1.
Council members seemed inclined to beef up online activity.
“I think we ought to upgrade our website because that’s the culture we’re in now,” Councilman Vince Evans said. “The question is how much do we spend.”
Currently, a couple of websites promote city’s happenings and events, including one operated by the Lula Downtown Development Authority. And the city has a Facebook presence through the Lula Belton Historical Society and the Lula Train Depot.
“That’s part of the problem,” Bergin said of the numerous options. “We’ve got everybody going in different directions.”
Evans said he believes that “whether it’s Hall County, Gainesville, us or whatever, people go to the website for information. I think also that it includes historical pictures.”
“Really, it should be used to promote your community,” Bergin said. “Information is what they go there for — once you get them there, (promotion) is what you want to do.”
And it needs to be user-friendly, he added.
Bergin didn’t exactly compliment Hall County government’s $78,000 website upgrade a couple of years ago, saying he believes it’s hard to navigate.
“Try to look up anything on there — it is still a nightmare,” he said.
City Attorney Robert “Lucky” Chandler said his firm went to a website “because hardly anyone uses the Yellow Pages anymore.”
“And when we did a website, one of the things we learned is you have to optimize it to these little rascals,” he said, holding up a smartphone.
“Most people, particularly those under the age of 40, do their working and searching on these things, not on a computer.”