Sheek: Cortez gets an updated, user-friendly website

Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018 5:18 PM
Karen Sheek

At the Tuesday council workshop, Jon Brooks, Manager of Marketing and Events, unveiled the city’s new website, and wow!

I had the privilege of getting a sneak preview to prepare for this column, and I must say that I think our citizens will be very pleased with what they see when they type in and click on the link.

The site features a changing series of panoramic photos taken locally – my favorite is the shot of the Sleeping Ute taken at sunset.

The search box is prominently placed right in the middle of the screen, asking How Can We Help You? You can type in a search request or navigate the drop down menu at the top of the screen.

There is a handy menu bar to the left of the screen that allows you to easily make an online payment, report a concern, sign up for emergency alerts or view live stream city council meetings.

Every effort was made to make searching the website as easy as possible. Information can be accessed in a variety of ways with FAQs available for all departments, enabling quick access to information.

The website contains a wealth of information on all aspects of your city government and city services. I’ll share a few highlights and encourage you to explore the site for yourself:

Did you know you can pay your city utility bills online? Signing-up for Xpress Bill Pay is easy. Businesses can also go paperless by signing up to pay their business taxes online. Want emergency alerts? Click on the link on the left of the screen. Signing up with Nixle is fast and easy. I did it in less than a minute, and will now be notified in the event of a variety of emergencies.Live streaming city council meetings enables citizens to watch from home during the actual session, or after the fact. To make it even easier to zero in on those particular items of interest, the city has contracted with a service that allows you to click on the agenda entry, taking you to that portion of the session without having to watch the entire meeting – technology again personalizing our access to information!Searching has been significantly enhanced with the new menu bar at the top of the screen. Click on the Departments drop down menu, then on Airport to get airport weather from the National Weather Service, or book a fight directly though Boutique or other airline links provided. Click on Library, then on the Colorado Virtual Library link for a wealth of information on books and related activities – great for families or anyone with a love of learning.The Government link gives you quick access to the Staff Directory, City Charter and Codes, and Elections information – all aspects of the governance of the city along with contact information for staff you can call upon for assistance.To learn what’s on the city’s calendar, go to Residents, and click on Events Calendar. All city meetings and city-sponsored activities are listed. Want a pet? Click on Animal Services for pictures and information on dogs and cats available for adoption both in Cortez and Durango, or for contact information to learn if the shelter picked up your lost pet. Under Notify Me, sign up for notification of bid postings, government jobs, news flashes, and more.The Business menu provides links to important information needed when setting up a business in Cortez, along with a variety of services available in the community to help owners grow their businesses. The Visiting menu provides links to a variety of sites providing information on things to do in the area along with local businesses. Share it with visitors before they arrive to give them a sense of what’s available in the area, or use it for planning the perfect outing for family or company! The How Do I? tab provides another way to quickly access the answer to questions running the gamut of how to dispose of yard waste and what’s recyclable, to applying for a liquor license. Just a quick reminder that the second in our series of “corTEZ TALKS” is tonight at the high school, beginning at 7 p.m..

Robert Boudwin, an NBA Hall of Fame mascot, is the featured speaker. Come hear his inspirational story and get the inside scoop on working with the Houston Rockets.

Karen Sheek is the mayor of Cortez, a position elected by Council members. Reach her at or during her office hours from 12:30-1:30 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of the month.