WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., July 3, 2018 — Recent graduate Boyd Walker, 23, of Mount Pleasant, Ohio, has played a role in creating the new City of Wheeling website which went “live” recently and includes many new features to benefit residents and visitors alike.
Tom Connelly, the city’s director of planning and development, and Jesse Mestrovic, director of parks and recreation, introduced the updated website at Wheeling’s June 5 city council meeting. The two city employees have been working on changes to the website for more than a year.
Walker graduated from the College of Liberal Arts in December 2017 with a degree in Geography and Planning and was fortunate to land an internship with the City of Wheeling last fall. It made good use of his GIS (geographic information system) knowledge.
“I’m happy to have been a part of the new Wheeling website development. It was a very valuable internship,” he said. Currently Walker is employed at C and M Hilltop, a trucking company in Dillonvale, Ohio, where he works full-time as a dispatcher.
He completed a computer based mapping class at WLU, taught by Dr. Brian Crawford, who is WLU’s provost. Working with Wheeling’s Parks and Recreation Director Jesse Mestrovic further improved his skills.
“I went out into the city and collected data and inputted it into the computer to generate the new map, so I was in the field more than the office. I collected GPS points, worked with the county department to get the 911 addresses for the parks and facilities,” he said. “I also collected data on each facility that the city has and created boundaries when necessary.”
Walker downloaded the Esri mapping software app to his phone and worked with that too.
Walker still hopes to find fulltime employment in the field of parks and recreation or mapping in the future. He also works a part time job at Oglebay’s Good Zoo, teaching kids about animals and the environment.
While a WLU student, Walker was the vice president of the Geography Club and a member of the Gamma Theta Epsilon geography honor society. He also was a Resident Assistant and was employed in the mailroom.
The new website is both beautiful and useful, according to Walker.
Menus at the top of the new Wheeling home page are labeled Departments, Government, Business, Community, How Do I … and Wheeling 311. Action buttons are located at the bottom of the home page. Links also are offered to the city’s social media sites.
New features on the site include a link for mapping that is connected to the city’s geographic information system. These maps inform residents of their wards, zoning districts and trash collection schedules.
The Wheeling 311 feature allows residents to request city services by cellphone, Connelly said. Residents also can opt for alerts to notify them of waterline breaks, water boil orders and other emergencies.
Mestrovic said publicly that he is proud of Walker’s work on the interactive map, and pleased that it now provides information on parks, playgrounds and sports leagues. The goal for the website is “to try to make it more user-friendly,” he said.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Ogden News writer Linda Comins’ article of June 7 was used in this press release.