The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Local Politics

May 30, 2013

Anderson hires Kansas firm to design new city website

Project will include mobile app

ANDERSON — The city's website is so last decade.

But that's going to change by early fall when the city rolls out a new website that will include a more friendly design, new interactive features and a mobile application for smart phone users.

Tuesday, the Board of Public Works approved a three-year, $69,848 contract with CivicPlus to redesign Anderson's current website. The company, based in Manhattan, Kan., is a leading developer of government websites and community engagement software.

A key feature of the the new website will be a content management system that will allow department heads to post information directly to the city's website, said Pam Stafford, Information Services coordinator.

In addition, there will be alert functions for things like street closures, and citizens will be able to notify city officials of pot holes, weeds and other problems they see around Anderson that might require a city response.

"It will work better, it will be easier for our citizens to get on and complete anything that they need to complete," said city spokeswoman Charlee Turner.

Turner said the new website will also serve as an economic development tool. The existing website features a page dedicated to economic development, but it's not user friendly, according toTurner.

Stafford said one of the advantages of moving to an outside vendor for Anderson's new city website is that its development doesn't have to start from ground zero.

"I have watched for several years as we have tried to reinvent the wheel, and there are content management systems out there that can be utilized that have already built all of the tools that you need," Stafford said.

CivicPlus already has experience working in Indiana. The company has designed websites for Fishers, Warsaw, Hobart and Valparaiso.

Like Stu Hirsch on Facebook and follow him @StuHirsch on twitter, or call 640-4861.

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