Germantown trustees discuss upgrading village website

Dec. 4, 2012

Germantown - The village of Germantown's website may soon receive a face-lift.

The Village Board on Monday approved the pursuit of a three-year, $25,000 contract with Kansas-based CivicPlus to upgrade the village website, Should the board finalize the contract at the Dec. 17 meeting, the village would split the cost over a three-year period. After three years the village would enter into a maintenance agreement with the company for a lesser rate.

CivicPlus specializes in designing and building citizen-focused, interactive communication systems. Currently, the village pays to make content changes to the website per day, updating it Tuesdays and Fridays. Going through CivicPlus will allow village staff and various departments to update the website with new content, or remove content, seven days a week.

The village budgeted $25,000 in the 2013 budget for a website upgrade, Village President Dean Wolter said. Board members were in favor of the contract that was brought forward on Monday by Park and Recreation Director Brett Altergott; however, the board wanted to ensure numbers were finalized before approving the contract.

"In the end, you will have a better looking product," Altergott said. "We can do updates every day of the week, seven days of the week if we want to instead of the two times we can right now."

He said the village has been limiting updates even more because of the daily cost.

"Now, we can do that stuff ourselves," Altergott said.

Should the board approve the contract, the five-to-six month upgrade process would begin in January, with June 1 set as a temporary launch date. Six village employees will go through two to three days of training with CivicPlus. These employees will then train the rest of staff.

Employees will be trained via webcam in Village Hall. This way the village won't have to pay travel expenses for CivicPlus employees to come to Germantown.

"We felt like that was the best option and staff also felt they could do that," Altergott said. "Then, they will have staff walk you through what we should and should not be doing and develop the content from there."

Content development will take up to three months. Trustee Terri Kaminski will participate in the website upgrade process. The board will also be able to view the site before it is made public.

Altergott said other communities that use CivicPlus spoke highly of the company.

"It's been a great company for them," he said.

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