Hobart unveils new hands-on, user friendly website

2013-07-13T18:39:00Z 2013-07-13T23:43:04Z Hobart unveils new hands-on, user friendly websiteDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | City officials recently launched a new Hobart website designed to be more hands-on and user friendly for residents, Raeann Trakas said.

"Residents can go there to pay online and the site is more visually appealing and more user friendly, Trakas said.

Trakas, who serves as the city's special events coordinator and project manager for the website, will make a presentation on the new website at the 6 p.m. Wednesday City Council meeting.

The site was developed and will be maintained by CivicPlus of Manhattan, Kan., which specializes in creating government websites. It also has developed sites for Valparaiso and Porter County.

The CivicPlus three-year contract costs $29,640, including developing the site and training. The cost is being divided among several departments including special events, sanitary and storm water.

Each city department was asked last fall to submit recommendations for what employees wanted included.

The website includes a lakefront photo and city logo with places to click on to be notified about road closures, meetings and events.

Residents also can sign up and be sent notifications by mobile phone or email.

The website also has loaded a number of city documents and forms that can be downloaded then printed out and later filled out and brought to City Hall.

Plans are to also add a report a concern area.

"For instance, if a resident sees a pothole in their street or a neighborhood concern they will can send it in an it will be emailed to the appropriate department," she said.

Each of the city's parks is also pictured on the new website with addresses and amenities.

The Internet, and specifically a website, is the first place many people go when wanting to find out more information about a community, Trakas said.

The city's website is www.cityofhobart.org.

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