County launches new website, app

The new app and the new website (, are ready for downloading and viewing

By Les Walters & Kathryn “Chazz” Hirschfeld
HAMILTON — Marion County has a new website, and it’s live, it’s amazing, and it’s loaded with super helpful information for everyone in the county.
To find the website, type in “” With one click, you’ll open up a storehouse of knowledge available 24 hours a day.
There are sample voter ballots, a weather camera showing current data, local news listings and links to videos of city council and county commission meetings.
You can pay your property tax online, as well as your solid waste bill. You can also renew your license plate and driver’s license. Getting married? You can fill out your Marriage Affidavit (now required in lieu of a marriage license) to get married.
And if you have a question you can’t find the answer to online, there are more than a dozen phone numbers listed under “county courthouse,” to direct you to the right department.
These items are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the valuable material readily available on hundreds of issues.
One public official noted the website is going to be an integral part of communication for the county.
Marion County Emergency Management Agency Director Eric Terrell  and Deputy EMA Director Blake Farley were asked to comment on the website immediately before the Marion County Commission’s Feb. 20 meeting, where they announced the new website’s launch.
Terrell noted the website has been a countywide effort, with input from many sources, including Marion County Probate Judge Paige Vick. He said the county commission’s help was also invaluable, with the commissioners funding the website and coming on board quickly regarding Farley fast-tracking the website’s construction.
“The website has been about four years coming,” he explained. “Blake came on board about a year ago, and that was his first task. It was, ‘Here you go, congratulations, welcome aboard, now let’s get this website across the finish line.’
“He took the lead on it--gathering the information and providing it to the contractor who built the website. It’s a nice website. It’s something we can all be proud of. I’m proud of Blake for getting it across the finish line.”
Asked to outline some of the main benefits, Farley noted, “Any county business can be handled on the website. That’s as far as going to report a problem, to finding information on how to obtain storm shelter credit, how to register to vote, who your commissioner is, how to contact your commissioner or if you have a problem with the road and you need to talk to an engineer. There’s also county news and a calendar on there, so you’ll know what days the courthouse is closing.
“Then there’s also a small part of community outreach. We show all the communities around Marion County, as well as what we have to offer for more business to come in.”

Website details
There are helpful icons on the bottom of each website page, allowing visitors to quickly click on specific needs, such as “report a problem, district maps, car and boat, tax info, minutes and agendas, voting info, pay bills, deeds info, marriage certificates and GIS maps.
There are hundreds, maybe a thousand, different links on the entire website, directing persons to the information they are searching for.
Some of the specific pages in the “About” section lead to tabs for county history, community, economic development, county courthouse, news and calendar.
Under “Government,” persons can click on commission office, commissioners, meeting archive and local government.
County departments are listed, of course, under “Departments.” These include the engineer’s office, solid waste, EMA, probate office, revenue commissioner, Marion County-Rankin Fite Airport and sheriff department. Some of these links take you to the websites for these organizations.
Each section and page of the website also take you to another menu assortment of other links, all clearly identified, to make it easy to narrow down your search for a specific subject.
A few areas of the website are still under construction, and display as “coming soon,” including the community link, the Marion County-Rankin Fite Airport section and the contact page.
It’s obvious to anyone looking at this website that a considerable amount of effort, attention and expense has been put into building this site to benefit the county’s population and allow them easier access to county government, pertinent data and the latest capabilities and technologies.

App also released
The director noted the EMA Department and the Marion County Sheriff’s Department are also launching an app, too. The app went public on Thursday, Feb. 22.
“We also have an app that we’re launching, too, which Blake has been heading up, too,” he said. “We’ll probably do more of our business on the app, but the website will have information, as well.”
Terrell said most of the emergency information the public needs to be aware of will be shared via the app, such as local weather dangers and related situations.
“Most of our emergency information will be pushed out on the app,” he noted. “Any national weather service notifications will also come through the app. The app will be our major push on putting information out.”
Interested persons can search “Marion County Public Safety” to download the free smart phone app in the App Store or on Google Play.
A press release noted, “The Marion County EMA and Marion County Sheriff’s Office are excited to announce the release of a custom smart phone application.
“The app will serve as an innovative way for the organizations to connect with Marion County residents and visitors, providing information quickly and efficiently to anyone with a smart phone.
“The Marion County Public Safety app was developed by, a brand of OCV, LLC, which specializes in mobile app development for sheriff’s offices and public safety organizations across the country.

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