The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

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June 14, 2013

Ashtabula County’s website to get a new look in 2014

JEFFERSON — The Ashtabula County website is getting an overhaul and county officials are hoping it will prove to be a useful tool for the public, more than it is now.

Although a number of things are still posted on the current website, much of the information contained on the site, regarding the various departments, hasn’t been updated in at least seven years, said County Administrator Janet Discher.

The county still posts meeting agendas for the Ashtabula County commissioners, as well as bid notices and job postings, but the hope is to include things such as forms for the Building Department or making it possible for residents to make Online payments, among other things, she said.

“With the way technology is today, people depend on things like that,” Discher said. “Our website is very outdated.”

The overall layout of the site is not very aesthetically appealing either, she said.

The project is in the very beginning stages. It was put on hold last year due to lack of funding, but officials decided to move forward with it this year.

Discher said she has been surveying the staff, via e-mail, to find out what types of things they need and want to be incorporated on the site.

County departments were asked to look at five or six other county websites from around the state that were rated very highly in a recent survey, she said.

“We want to know what they like and what they don’t like about the other sites,” she said.

Some of the county departments already have their own websites that they maintain, but they will ultimately be linked to the county’s page, she said.

Discher said she is hoping to get a lot of feedback from the county departments before the project goes out for request for proposal (RFP) in July. Officials will then select a firm to do the revamp in August. The hope is to have the new site up and running come Jan. 1, 2014.

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