Township Discusses Offers for New Website | News for Fenton, Linden, Holly MI
Township of Fenton. – The Township of Fenton may have a new website in the coming months.
On Monday, June 7, the Township of Fenton Board of Directors discussed offers from various companies to create and maintain a new municipal website. The board of directors decided to vote at the meeting of June 21 to have more time to look at the various proposals and websites.
“The current website, while functional and informative, is a bit dated and not as user-friendly as it could be,” wrote Thomas Broecker, chief operating officer and deputy clerk, in a letter to the board. The current website has been in use for 18 years. He said they get thousands of hits per month on the home page and the review page.
Out of three offers, supervisor Vince Lorraine and Broecker favored Municode. Municode costs $ 16,500 for the design, development and implementation of the website, $ 4,000 for hosting, maintenance and customer support for the first year ($ 20,500 for the costs of the first year) and $ 4,000 for annual hosting, maintenance and customer support costs.
The other two options were Revize, which costs $ 10,600 in the first year and $ 2,400 per year, and Pixelvine, which costs $ 7,815 in the first year and $ 3,840 per year.
Broecker said they are currently paying $ 5,500 per year for website maintenance and will save money on annual costs with any of the offers.
Lorraine said he and Broecker spent more than two months researching different sites. A new website is part of his plans to update the township’s technological capabilities.
“Beyond a doubt, even though it’s more expensive, Municode was the best,” Lorraine said.
Clerk Robert Krug asked if Municode is worth twice as much as the other two companies, and Lorraine said yes.
Administrator Mark Goupil asked if Municode was worth $ 10,000 to $ 13,000 more than the other companies that submitted an offer. He said any of them are better than what they have now.
“I certainly don’t want to sit here and ask for something more than $ 10,000 if I wasn’t convinced it was worth the long-term investment,” said Lorraine.
“Although their proposal is more expensive, I think Municode’s deliverables are ‘a cut above’ the other proposals,” Broecker wrote in his memo.
Broecker said Municode offers a higher volume of content migration, up to 1,500 web pages and five years of meeting information. The company also offers 80 GB of disk storage space and up to 1 TB of data transfer per month. They also offer a one hour response time for support requests.
Municode has created and maintains websites for other municipalities including White Lake, Hartland, Escanaba, and more. Standard features of these sites include a mobile friendly design, search engines, social media integration, online job postings, photo album slideshows, event calendars and more. .
One feature that interests the board is the coding process, which would make the search engine more efficient and functional.
Gregg Huggins, with Municode, said everything on the website, including prescriptions, will be indexed and tagged so that it can be easily found with the search engine. They use a high level of optimization in order to make the search engine efficient.
“No other company in the world offers this level of integration. It’s unique in the United States, ”he said.
Mike Deem, zoning administrator, said that you can tell when you are on a Municode website compared to other sites, and it is very easy to find what you are looking for with the search function.
Township lawyer Jack Belzer spoke in favor of codifying orders. Administrator Christine Reid said it sometimes takes “dedication” to find things on the website.
Treasurer John Tucker spoke in favor of an efficient search system and that they should view the website as an investment in their residents because of its functionality and ease of use.
Lorraine also intends to create a better social media presence for the township.
“We plan to integrate Facebook and Instagram. I have big plans on how we will communicate with our residents in the future, ”he said.
They plan to hire an employee to handle social media. They also discuss ways to better communicate with residents.
“I have hundreds of ideas and I hope the board will allow us to do what we need to do as a township to upgrade our website,” said Lorraine.