Banks revamps website for increase in user and mobile browsing friendliness, Gaston gets one for first time

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO - The new city of Banks website is more user friendly and will eventually feature photos submitted by community members. The city of Banks' new website is now live.

Banks' former website was not user friendly, nor was it compatible with browsing on mobile devices, said Banks City Manager Jolynn Becker. The new website fixes both of those issues.

"People like the new fresh look," said Becker. "I haven't heard anything negative about it."

The website now includes an easier-to-navigate format that requires less scrolling as well as updated city data, codes and documents. Agendas for city council meetings as well all other city committees and commissions are available online.

The revamp cost the city $4,000.

"I'm pretty excited," said Banks Mayor Pete Edison. "I think it will make things easier for people."

The site features the city's new branding theme and logo along with new city tag lines: "Outdoor fun found here," "All trails lead here" and "Good things grow here."

The city plans to hold a community photo contest this winter, calling for submissions to be included in the rolling banner of photos on top of its web page. The contest will be open to different age groups, and prizes will be awarded. Photos should depict the city of Banks and surrounding areas, from the downtown to community events to nearby forests to recreational sites. "Anything that represents Banks," Becker said.

More details on the photo contest will be coming soon.

The website is

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO - The city of Gaston activated a website for the first time earlier this year. Now locals have the option to pay bills online. Gaston

Meanwhile, Gaston is making use of a website for the very first time.

The city activated its website — which offers online bill-pay services — earlier this year. Gaston residents can now pay their water bills, citations and court fees, permit fees and planning fees online. There is an electronic payment fee of $5, which a separate company collects. The city only receives the amount paid for the bill.

Before the online payment option, all Gaston residents had to pay city bills with cash, check or money orders.

Gaston City Recorder Wenonah Blanchette said the electronic payment system has been up since August and she has seen the amount of payments double each month since it's been available. "I expect it to continue to increase," she said.

The website also features city news, updated ordinances and city council agendas.

Website suggestions can be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 503-985-3340.

The mobile-friendly website address is

By Stephanie Haugen
Reporter, Forest Grove News-Times
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