In an attempt to make it easier to find city records, St. Louis is making many of them available online.
See the website here: stlcin.missouri.org/citydata/newdesign/index.cfm
Initially, the Geo St. Louis site was intended for government use, but over the last 18 months the city has made the site public and more recently, expanded it to include images, maps, and information about neighborhood demographics.
"People looking at putting in a business, they want to know some demographic information. What's the makeup of the people living in this area? What kind of buying power do they have? How close is this to other things?" said Mayor Slay.
"We want this to be a city that's easy to get information in and it's a city that's easy to do business in."
If you type in an address, you can find out when building inspections where done and if any violations were found. You can click on the CSB link and find out if the city has logged any complaints about the property through the Citizen Service Bureau.
There is also a search for sales history, building permits, and condemnation information.
"If you were moving into a neighborhood or trying to check out a particular property, it looks like it has just about everything there," said Jennifer Coke.
Coke owns a law firm and lives in the Morgan Ford Business District in Tower Grove South. She and other business owners could easily look up census data in her neighborhood which would include average household incomes, ages, and other demographic information.
The city says the site was set up in-house and the city did not out-source the work to another company. Most of the cost to set up and maintain the site is in staff time.
Mayor Slay added that the city could save time and money in the long run by continuing to make public records available on-line.
"It helps us, too, in city government," said Slay.
"Somebody wants information, it might take some time to find it, pull it out of records and give it to them. In this case we have it all on-line."