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Lehigh Valley

Bethlehem to create open data Internet portal

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Bethlehem City Council Tuesday evening agreed to move forward with a city Internet portal.

Council unanimously approved the ordinance that would establish an open data program and online portal to make city information more freely and easily accessible.

"This data has immense benefits that we aren't aware of yet," said Council President J. William Reynolds.

According to council, it's an eighth-progressive policy Reynolds developed in January to improve government by reducing the city carbon footprint, limiting campaign contributions and bolstering the city's social media.

The ordinance said a chief data officer will be appointed to manage and oversee the publication of data from various city departments.

Mayor Robert Donchez also supported the open portal.

Business Administrator David Brong commented the challenge is finding a way to create an efficient connection between the city system and portal to make the data available.

Councilman Adam Waldron further said the benefits that could come from the portal are "limitless and exponential."

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