New web look for the city

Cortez will spend $22K for new, advanced site

The Cortez City Council unanimously approved spending more than $20,000 for a new, more advanced website.

The last revamping of the city's website was in 2008.

Dawn Lightenberger, assistant to the city manager, told the council at its Jan. 22 meeting that the city looked at other websites, including the Montrose Gold design, to determine what would work best for them.

The city sent out requests for proposals for website developers and received four responses, and chose Civic Plus with a start-up cost of a little more than $22,000.

Civic Plus, Lightenberger said, has worked extensively with municipal websites in the past with more than 1,000 to its credit.

She said Civic Plus implements a very easy content system where almost all departments will be able to update information to the site.

There will also be safeguards in place with this web design. For a visually impaired person the website would tell them what the photo depicts.

The overall cost to Civic Plus for the first year is $22,300 with support, maintenance and hosting included for this year and $4,021 in each of the next two years.

City Manager Shane Hale said one of the benefits is a free web re-design in the fourth year if the city stays with the company for three years.

There will also be portal pages where other entities like the school district and the county can be part of the website at a cost of $8,000.

Hale said the city would want to entice other entities to take part in this opportunity.

"Eight thousand dollars is a steal," Hale said.

Cortez Special Events Manager Ami Fair said the crucial piece is managing the data.

"When we try to recruit or (have) people research our area we want people to be able to see our community as a whole," she said. "They are not interested in a water pipe break on Main Street. We can tell the story they want to hear."

Fair said this website will leave the content of each organization in the hands of that entity.

When a person goes through this site to get to another entity's portal page, both the city and that organization receive web hits.

"We are putting (down) a large amount of money," Hale said. "This is our vision."

He thinks that after launching the site, others will want to join after seeing the city's new site.

"I feel like it will pay for itself," said council member Matt Keefauver. "It seems like a more typical portal page that can pull from so many different things."

And Fair said a web design of this magnitude is needed.

"We are moving forward. We need to do this. It's time," she said.

Another advantage to the new site is a web application that people will be able to put on their tablets or smart phones.

BEAUTIFICATION PROJECT

The council also approved the city entering into a professional services contract with Russell Planning and Engineering to provide services for developing an overall concept plan for gateway elements and median beautification throughout the city, specifically the construction of the South Broadway medians.

Russell Engineering and Planning was the most expensive of the three finalists by $8,000 and $10,000, though this was offset by the 641 man hours it would be using for the project compared to the 434 and 466 hours for the other two finalists.

The construction is scheduled to take place in the summer of this year, and the scope of the work includes creating landscape designs for each of the gateways into Cortez, the median on Seventh Street and analyzing options for beautification and pedestrian enhancements in the downtown area.

michaelm@cortezjournal.com