Millstone officials plan to put ordinances online

By louis c. hochman

Staff Writer

MILLSTONE — Township ordinances will soon be available online, giving both residents and government officials quicker access to the laws that govern them.

Millstone officials have met with the company that currently handles the township’s ordinance book about keeping copies of the ordinances and land use regulations archived on CD-ROM.

"We were very impressed by their presentation," Mayor Cory Wingerter said, "and we’re going to work out the specifics with them in regard to price and other factors soon."

The ordinance book will also be made available through the township’s Web site, which is currently undergoing a redesign under its new webmaster.

"This will give you all the ordinances and you’ll be able to work with them by sequence or by other orders," Wingerter said. "You’ll also be able to do searches, so if you type in a word you’ll see all ordinances with that word in them."

Wingerter said the electronic copies will be updated about as often as the paper ordinance books, about two to three times per year. When updates are made, township residents will be given notice, he said.

Residents and developers will not, however, be able to use their own printouts of the electronic copies for formal legal work.

"There will be a disclaimer that if you’re using it for legal work, you have to go to the town clerk," Wingerter said.

The township will maintain at least half a dozen paper copies of the ordinance book for legal purposes and for residents who don’t have access to computers with CD-ROM drives or Internet connections.

"In-house, we’ll benefit from it greatly. It will make things much easier for the Township Committee and for our subcommittees to do research on items before us," Wingerter said.

Although details are not yet available as to pricing, residents will likely be able to get copies of the CD-ROM ordinance book for a nominal fee, Wingerter said.

The township is also planning on an exchange with, a commercial Web site that makes available ordinances from municipalities nationwide. While the site charges individuals a fee for membership, it offers free membership to municipalities in exchange for copies of their ordinance books.

"The only real expense to us is the time it would take to send them our copies," Wingerter said.

He said Millstone won’t have to do any special preparation to its files.

"We’re just going to send it in the format we have and it’s up to ( to sort it out and convert it to the format they need," he said.

By joining the site, Millstone will have easy access to other municipalities’ ordinances for reference. While ordinances are a matter of public record, compiles them for quick searches and simple comparison.

Wingerter said he was not aware of any similar or competing service.