One of the first things residents will notice when they visit www.cityofstjoseph.com is its new look. With a bright blue background and scrolling pictures of local scenes, visitors will see familiar sites and faces on the city’s new website.
The city has had a website through GovOffice since 2002. This is the first time it’s updating its window to the community. City council members voted earlier this year to contract with CivicPlus to revamp the city’s site. The company also designed the City of St. Cloud’s website.
“I like it,” said Judy Weyrens, St. Joseph city administrator. “I’ve also heard others like the look.”
St. Joseph paid $17,000 for three years of service and software support through 2014. The city unveiled the site recently but more is coming. Weyrens said plans are to add a bill-pay option, a room-reservation tool, live streaming of city council meetings and a place for local advertising.
“This is just the shell,” she said. “We’ll be adding more.”
Speed and accessibility are what visitors will notice first while seeing some previous features and some new site additions. Some of the updated features of the site include an online document library for access to city documents, including old and current council meeting agendas, minutes and city ordinances and plat maps. Residents can also sign up for notifications via email or about upcoming events and city meetings.
A new website is something council member Renee Symanietz is happy to see come to fruition. She’s still getting used to the site herself but says the improvements will provide a more efficient way to keep residents informed.
“I really like the website,” Symanietz said. “I think it will be so much easier for people to navigate the web.”