SANDY — Sandy kicked off the new year last week with a sparkling new Web site that includes improved search technology, new trail maps and photos and a handy site assistant.

The completely revamped page is a work in progress, said Trina Duerksen, Sandy city communications manager. Interactive maps will soon be added as will customizable e-mail subscriptions. A recently hired, $60,000-per-year Webmaster will be available full time to make improvements as needed.

The interactive GIS (geographical interface system) maps will allow users to find their homes, then find the nearest parks, trails and police and fire stations. People will also be able to access maps showing who represents them in city government, Duerksen said.

Online bill pay for city services will also be available soon through the site.

The changes have been needed for years, said Duerksen, a main proponent of revamping the site. Sandy has looked at numerous sites and tried to adopt their best features.

"I could see what everyone else was able to do with communication with the public," she said. "It was really the (city) staff that pushed it for so long."

The new site was timed to coincide with an ad blitz for the city, Duerksen said. Love Communications consultants created a series of billboards, radio spots and national ads for the city. They also helped the Webmaster plan the site but won't have a long-term role in its look.

Rather, individual departments will provide the Webmaster with ongoing input into changes, Duerksen said.

The new page features Sandy's new logo, a blue and green drawing of Lone Peak and Little Cottonwood Canyon. It also boasts its motto, "Heart of the Wasatch."

Duerksen has urged the public to contact the city to give it feedback about the new site at Any constructive criticism can be e-mailed through the site's "contact us" link, she said.