City of Perrysburg unveils new Web siteWritten by Scott McKimmy | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The City of Perrysburg launched its new Web site Aug. 26, in an effort to enhance communication between the community and government, according to Rick Thielen, administrator of Planning, Zoning and Economic Development and Web site project director.
He said the project accomplished the city’s goals and in some cases, exceeded expectations. Among them are 24-hour access to government, comprehensive information, business development, easy maintenance and attractive, user-friendly design.
Features include a calendar section, where visitors can submit news of upcoming events, contact departments directly and provide feedback by e-mail or through a link labeled “Concerns.”
“We felt we needed to take a hard look at our Web site,” Thielen said. “Technology is changing, and we felt this is one way we can take advantage of that.
“We care what our citizens think and how they feel about their community, so we need to hear from them. And this is just one vehicle to make sure that happens.”
To keep taxpayer money within the community, Perrysburg contracted local marketing and advertising firm Venzel Communications Inc. in December to complete the $33,315 project. City officials invited residents and business owners to two focus groups, after which Venzel interviewed department heads to determine the design and content.
“We’re a fairly fast-growing community in the area here and we felt that our Web site should match that growth,” Thielen added. “And we feel we’re a fairly sophisticated community here, and we’ve got a lot of things going on. And we felt that we needed to be able to communicate, one, to our citizens and, two, to people visiting or wanting to do business here or maybe even considering relocating here.”
Previously, the city used a beta site to inform citizens of news, events, changes to meeting schedules and city council decisions; however, updates required a third party, which delayed postings. The new site allows updates by individual divisions and departments, which prevents visitors from reading “old information.”
“Even though we’ve gone live, there’s still a little tweaking to do, and there’s a series of training that they’ll be conducting for city staff,” Thielen said. “Our goal is for real-time meeting minutes. As city council is conducting a meeting, for example, that evening those minutes will be put on there both in video as well as written text so that you could come home after work and fire it up and view what was going for that night.”