SALEM City plans to place its laws on Internet

Dog owners need a reminder that the city's leash law applies to the parks as well as other areas, a councilwoman said.
SALEM -- The city intends to move further into the computer age in the next few months by making its laws more accessible to Web surfers.
Plans are being laid to place all the city's ordinances on the Internet within about six months, Law Director C. Brooke Zellers told city council Tuesday.
A new state law requires that cities make their tax forms available on the Internet, Zellers explained.
Since the forms are among the city's dozens of ordinances, city officials decided to put all of the laws on the Internet, not just the tax forms.
Right now, any one wanting to examine city laws must make a trip to city hall to study the ordinance book, which is several inches thick.
Once placed on the Web, it's likely the ordinances will be coupled with a search engine that will make it easier for computer users to find which law they're interested in, Zellers said.
A Web surfer could, for example, bring up the ordinances site and type "barking dogs" into the search engine, which would guide him to the appropriate law.
The city already has a presence on the Internet with a Web site that provides information on city council, city departments and other municipal affairs.
Dogs: In other action at council's meeting Tuesday, Councilwoman Mary Lou Popa, D-1st, asked Steve Faber, city parks director, if signs could be installed in city parks reminding patrons that they must keep their dogs leashed.
Faber said he would bring the matter up with the parks commission.
Popa said her request comes after receiving complaints that some dog owners are allowing their pets to run loose in Waterworth Memorial Park.
Snow: The city spent twice as much this winter as last for snow and ice removal from city streets, reported Joe Julian, service director.
This winter's bill, which includes salt, gas, vehicle maintenance and employee overtime for snow removal, totaled $108,267, Julian said.
Last winter's bill was $50,175.
The difference stems mostly from the severity of this winter compared with the last one, Julian said.

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