By Michael Heins
Montana Association of Counties (MACo) met Feb. 23 in Helena to seek ways to provide web service to all of Montana's 56 counties.
The commissioners looked at ways that would allow every county in Montana to have an information web page, according to Hill County Commissioner Doug Kaercher.
Out of Montana's 56 counties only 10 have web sites.
Kaercher said the counties entered an agreement with Montana Rural Development Corporation (MRDC). MRDC will be the facilitator to help get the counties online.
MACo is working to create informational web sites in all of the counties to provide service for the people in the counties, Kaercher said. Hill County hopes to get into e-government in the near future, he said.
The idea is to make it so that people can get online and pay their license fees, look up property ownership or find a birth certificate, he said.
Yellowstone County has a very informative interactive web site, Kaercher said. The Hill Counties web site is only informational at this point, he said.
"The state will do an assessment to see what it will take to to get the counties up to the basic level of technology," Kaercher said
The smaller counties do not have the economic ability to fully facilitate the technology for their counties but yet they need to supply the services, he said.
MACo is working to standardize accounting software in all counties and to get all of Montana's counties online, Kaercher said.
MACo is looking to apply for federal grants to provide the finances for the counties to create their own web page and get online and join the 10 counties that are already have web sites, he said.