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Surfing the Web made easier with Townsend’s new Web site

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TOWNSEND — The new Townsend Web site has been well received, according to Cable Advisory Chairman Steven Cloutier.

Cloutier has implemented an easy to follow, user friendly Web site with all the information residents can want right at their fingertips. “We have received some very good responses, a lot of positive feedback,” he said. “The site is in a consistent format, and the people seem to be getting accustomed to it. Once you get acquainted with the format, it is very easy to navigate,” he added.

Touring the Web site, one can find information on absentee ballots, how to apply for all licenses, how to get permits for building and burning, all the bylaws of the town, voter registration information, all board and committee members and the winter parking ban that is in effect by the police department, to name a few.

A “Townsend at a Glance” page gives the reader all the vital statistics in one easy to read format. “It is a very friendly site,” Cloutier said.

Tax Collector Kathleen Rossbach said she has seen an increase in people paying their taxes online. “It is catching on this time around. You could use it last year, but there is definitely more people using it this tax season than last,” she said.

She explained paying taxes online makes the tax collector’s job easier. “It is one less piece of mail we have to open. We just have to post the payment as the money is already deposited. People have told me they like the new system of doing the online payments,” Rossbach added.

The excise tax bills that will be going out at the end of February will also be payable on the Web site. “They usually go out after we get the information from the registry, about late February. We are going to have it on the Web site. People can pay them online too,” she said.

Cloutier’s other project is expanding the wireless network in town to include Townsend Harbor. “We will finally be able to bring the harbor area into the mainstream,” he said.

Cloutier said Townsend was one of the first communities in the area to have a wireless network. “It’s been almost four years, we were way ahead of Pepperell to have wireless. Now with the Homeland Security grant I received last year, I’m building the tower system to get the harbor online with the rest of the town,” he said.

Cloutier received a $12,000 grant for the repeater and other equipment needed to complete the project. “It will bring the town communication system all together,” he said.

Cloutier is always striving to keep one step ahead with technology needed for the town. “We are constantly expanding what we can do, and getting good response from the public only helps us out.”

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