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Helper's laws could become an e-book

Sun Advocate associate editor

Helper City has been recording and sorting its municipal ordinances since the days of typewriters and ribbons and carbon paper.

It has, of course, been using computers for some time now, but there's still a lot on paper.

Now the city wants to go fast-forward into the digital age.

Last Thursday, the city council approved spending up to $11,225 to have an outside company scan, digitize and make available electronically its entire municipal code.

The approval of the dollar figure without awarding a contract outright is in keeping with the requirement to get multiple bids or prices on purchases.

So far, Mayor Dean Armstrong said he has seen a package of services offered by Code Publishing, Inc. The council agreed with Armstrong that the concept is worth pursuing.

This is a Seattle-based, woman-owned company that asserts it has electronic equipment capable of converting typewritten documents and printed illustrations into electronic formats.

The Sun Advocate checked out the firm's website and visited the municipal code of Roosevelt City, one of the company's Utah clients. (Readers can access the site at

Armstrong said the process would make the city's codes more organized and accessible. Out-of-towners with questions about local laws would be able to access them.

The other advantage, according to the mayor, is that the company has editors and lawyers that can review the codes and offer suggestions for improvement, or advise of potential conflicts with existing state or federal laws.

Helper gets underground map

If you want to know how to get where you want to go, you first have to know where you are. So Helper City, which wants to upgrade its water, sewer and storm drainage systems, decided last fall to hire Franson Civil Engineers to survey its whole underground infrastructure.

The study is done, and last Thursday the firm delivered a wall-size map showing all the lines, diameters and materials.

Now it is a matter of setting priorities based on the information. One big item facing the city is replacing two miles of cast iron, lead jointed water pipes.

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