A year after a major upgrade in user-friendliness, Pataskala intends to update its Web site again, with a focus on making it more interactive.

A year after a major upgrade in user-friendliness, Pataskala intends to update its Web site again, with a focus on making it more interactive.

"We are proposing three initiatives for better service," said Timothy Boland, city administrator.

Boland said the city would like to offer online payments for utilities, space for polls and surveys of residents and residents' requests for city work.

Boland told Pataskala City Council July 20 that the online payments could be provided through a vendor called Official Payments. It is one of the most used online payment service in central Ohio, he said. The company does not charge the city for setup, and it does not charge a monthly fee. Instead it charges each customer $3.95 for each payment received online.

Councilman Bernard Brush asked if the city had worked with other vendors, in search of another way of charging customers for online payments. He said it might discourage someone from making a water payment monthly if a fee were attached.

City finance director Jason Carr said Official Payments is the most recognized company doing online payments for municipalities and already is working with several other municipalities in the area, such as Pickerington.

"This seems to be the preferred choice," he said.

He also said the city is not encouraging all payments online but instead would offer a quicker option for those who are in danger of having a utility service shut off.

"It's not geared toward the average user," Carr said.

Boland said he would like to post polls and survey to get feedback from residents on various issues, such as snow plowing, street repairs and right-of-way mowing.

Similarly, the city could add residents' requests to the Web site, allow them to e-mail questions or complaints and receive responses or updates on changes prompted by the comment.

"We could route those questions to the appropriate department," Boland said, and then respond with resolutions.

"We'd like to have this operational by Sept. 1 or sooner," he said.

Last year, the city upgraded its Web site in an effort to make the site more user-friendly for residents and businesses and to help employees reduce their workload by offering forms and applications for different city services online.

Upgrading the Web site allowed city staff to update information on different departments more quickly and provide more information posted more quickly for residents. Information to businesses or new residents thinking about moving to the city also was included.