By Ross Markman
No more aimlessly typing "Havre" into your favorite search engine to find information on Montana's eighth largest city.
Havre now has its own Web site that not only includes general facts and figures like the city's population, it also lists City Council agendas and contact numbers, and shows various scenes in Havre.
The site can be found at www.ci.havre.mt.us.
"I actually started working on it in November," said Annette Swinney, Havre's deputy clerk and finance director. "It's not going to be a professional site, but it's better than not having one."
Swinney, Havre's unofficial webmaster, is using Microsoft Publisher software to create the site. The city is connected to the Internet through the Havre-Hill County Library, which is connected to the Havre Public Schools server, Swinney said.
Type in the site's address and you're taken to a home page that includes photographs of Montana State University-Northern and the James J. Hill statue in front of the Amtrak station on Main Street. Toward the bottom, there's an animated American flag and City Council members' phone numbers.
"It was a real snowy, ugly day when we went out to take the pictures," Swinney said.
Swinney ultimately expects to link Havre's site to Web sites for Hill County, the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce and the library. The site will also include summer recreation schedules for the parks and recreation department, she said.
"If we get linked with the Chamber and the county, people from outside of Havre will see it and maybe want to move here," Havre Mayor Bob Rice said. "If we can interconnect with the county and Chamber Web sites, that's a big plus for Havre."
During his campaign last year, Rice said he wanted to establish a city Web site, in order to make city politics more accessible to Havre residents.
"I eventually want to get the minutes on there, and sometime in the future, I want to get the ordinances and resolutions on there," he said.
But will people visit the site?
"I hope so," Swinney said. "It is nice to have the information out there where people have easier access to it."