The is in line with municipalities across the country in its attempt to become a resource for news and issues that play out within the community. Along with ongoing communication and easy access to the village staff comes building a website that captures the heart and style of the community.
Village Administrator Kurt Carroll has issued a request for proposals for website design, implementation and maintenance services. All bids are due no later than 5 p.m. July 20 at Village Hall.
In the bid request, Carroll said, "the goal is to utilize the latest trends, designs and technologies to redesign the Village of New Lenox's website."
Any plan for the website, according to the bid request, has to be "user-friendly" and appeal to different audiences, including residents, businesses, visitors, community or area employees, village boards and commissions, park and school districts and community organizations.
Mayor Tim Baldermann added that there are many solid examples of strong community websites. "You don't have to recreate the wheel."
For instance, the word that describes the overall look of the website for the City of Wheaton is formal. It features the city's newsletter and responds to immediate situations or outages due to storms and clean-up efforts in the aftermath. The website also highlights the calendar of events and sheds light on the doings of its board and commission meetings.
An out-of-town visitor, at a glance, tastes a bit of the community's personality and interest in the environmental arena. The city has a campaign called "Turn Wheaton Green," revealing an abundance of tips, insights and perspectives about related issues and activities. The website lists churches, the location of cooling centers and posts news generated for the police department.
On the other hand, the website for the Village of Addison opens up with a picture of the community's marquee. Just beneath is a video link straight into Access Television. The community access channel runs programs 24 hours a day. It directs readers to the village's Facebook page.
"We want it to be more customer friendly, a 24/7 operation," Baldermann said. "People look at (the website) in the off hours. And it has to be a tool."
The cost for revamping the website has not yet been determined. Depending on the results of the RFPs, Carroll said the village might need to phase in the upgrade.