Seymour's new website goes live [New Haven Register, Conn. :: ]
(New Haven Register (CT) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jan. 23--SEYMOUR -- The town's woefully outdated website has undergone a dramatic makeover, making its debut in cyberspace Wednesday.
Not only has new content been added, along with links to local businesses, a suggestion box encouraging residents' feedback about anything and everything which goes directly to First Selectman Kurt Miller and direct links to department heads, the site boasts a more professional and streamlined look.
"It definitely exceeds my expectations," Miller said Wednesday. "We put a big focus on better communication with residents. The new website will be a great resource for them."
Miller said residents can navigate the site with ease, with many options enabling them to pay their taxes online, ask questions of town officials, research information, use interactive maps, check out local businesses, read newspapers and connect to various social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter. Also, coming in February, Miller said videos of municipal meetings, like Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance, will be available for viewing on the site.
"The site is 85 to 90 percent fully functional at this point, but we thought it was important that we got it up and running for residents to use," Miller said.
Miller lauded town Administrative Assistant Rory Burke and resident Jason Weaving, the former chairman of the Technology Committee, and the committee itself, for the "tremendous job" in giving the site a much-needed facelift.
Burke, along with Dee Caruso, the town's manager of operations and grants, will be responsible for updating the site's content. The company the town hired last year to redesign the site, Delaware.Net, based in Dover, Del., will be responsible for remote hosting. The company's servers are based in Michigan, which town officials said is a good thing, because if a powerful East Coast storm knocks out power here, the website would not go offline, enabling important emergency information to still get out to the public.
The town paid the company a one-time cost of $9,600 for the re-design, and will pay them about $150 a month for operations.
Miller said the old platform was obsolete, the software used was no longer in production and lacked a content management system. But that's all in the past, and the new site is ready to serve with content that residents specifically asked for when surveyed last year. Miller said everything from a help section and a photo gallery to an events calendar and links to comprehensive meeting minutes and agendas are just a few simple clicks away.
Burke said the redesigned site is like a "one-stop shop" for residents, who will also enjoy a "how-to" section on obtaining building, hunting and fishing permits as well as an important feedback section to let officials know what they like or maybe don't like about the new site.
"We also changed the background color and the layout and made a more-user-friendly and easy to navigate site," Burke said. "And we really encourage people to submit feedback."
The new site can be accessed at http://www.seymourct.org/.
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