City of Marfa launches new website

A screengrab of the city of Marfa’s new and improved website.

MARFA — This Tuesday, the City of Marfa officially launched its new website, which boosts the city’s online presence by making helpful resources and features available for both citizens and city officials.

Photos of iconic landmarks associated with the town — the Presidio County Courthouse, Godbold feed factory, water tower, and the PRADA Marfa installation — greet the website’s visitors. Clickable buttons offer easy access to council agendas and minutes, forms and permits, bill pay, and the city calendar. A prominent informational box prompts users to sign up for TextMyGov to connect with the city via text message, or access food establishment permit applications.

In a city council meeting in early March, City Manager Mandy Roane presented the nearly-complete site to city council members, stating one of the main goals in redoing the site was to make information more accessible for community members. With the new site, citizens can pay Airbnb or hotel occupancy tax (HOT) fees online and access similar documents without coming into City Hall. There is also a section where the public can access city ordinances. 

The site includes staff photos and a contact directory to help identify city employees and elected officials. The site is also ADA accessible and complete with Google translator assistance. The website redesign was completed by company Municode

Roane said the city paid for the design and three years of web hosting with funding received from the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act). Costs were around $3,500 for set up and $600 for a yearly hosting fee. 

The separate site, visitmarfa.com, which is also operated by the city, underwent a redesign and was paid for using HOT funds, said Roane. The “visit” button on the main site will automatically launch users into a new tab. The new visit site will look similar to the city’s main site but contain different content. As of press time the new “visit” site was not yet up and running, but the preexisting site was still functional. 

The city utilities portal is also undergoing a digital makeover, but is still in the works and will not go live until sometime later this summer, said City Secretary Kelly Perez. For now, residents who pay utility bills online will do so in the same manner as before, utilizing the marfautilities.org site.