Catoosa County launched its new website on Tuesday, Dec. 8 — but just a soft launch. They’re not advertising it quite yet because, says Catoosa Public Information Officer John Pless, it still has some tweaking to go.
The project has been in the works all year, says Pless.
“It’s been a collaboration mainly with the company we hired, Granicus, and three people in our office: Candy Flener, our deputy county clerk, Scott Czerneski, our IT director, and Melissa Hannah, our county clerk.”
The new site, says Hannah, has the crisp, clean look the county was aiming for.
The website is part of a bigger project to update technology in government offices, including video and audio equipment used to record commission meetings.
Pless says the goal in the upgrades is to make it easier for residents to access information they need or want and to provide more transparency. “The website was showing its age,” he says. “I think people will like the new site.”
Among changes and features to be found on the site:
♦ Six round icons in the middle of the page that represent the most-visited pages, based on research by Granicus. Those pages are: Employment Opportunities, Courts, Board of Commissioners, Permits and Applications, Bids and Proposals, and Elections and Voter Information.
♦ An employee portal where employees can find information about their health insurance and other benefits, as well as access the employee handbook and other important information.
♦ Contact information for commissioners, departments and others in Catoosa government.
♦ Links to departments that have their own websites.
♦ Not sure where to look for something? There’s a green “Service Finder” icon on the right of the page that gives some guidance by way of multiple choices.
A change still under construction is ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant forms. When work is finished on this, people will be able to hear forms read to them and will be able fill them out by speaking answers to questions.
Those who watch commission meetings may have already noticed that the audio has improved and captions can be turned on. This is not part of the website but is part of the overall technology upgrade.
Pless says the county realizes there is still some tweaking to be done on the new site. “We invite people to look over the site and let us know if they have problems or see mistakes,” he says. “And also to let us know what they like.”
The initial technology upgrade project cost $36,000. That includes the website and other upgrades and equipment but does not include maintenance.