The Village of Waterford’s website could be in for an overhaul, based on a proposal discussed last month at a pair of the Village Board’s committee meetings.
Melanie Marzahl, administrative analyst, discussed an initiative known as the Waterford Information Portal, which is planned for a rollout next year. On Sept. 16, she sought feedback from members of the Public Works and Personnel committees.
Marzahl said the village’s current website, www.vi.waterford.wi.gov, would receive an overhaul with a cleaner interface and more user-friendly features. Some components of the website would be available to the general public, while others would serve more as an intranet device for internal use.
Marzahl said the village is working to contract with a firm that provides webhosting services.
In terms of specifics, Marzahl and other village staffers are polling elected and appointed officials and gauging what they feel should be included on the new site.
Some of the most common features mentioned in both committees were basic village documentation, including agendas and minutes from Village Board meetings, a calendar that spotlights local events and a round-up of some of the village’s ordinances of interest.
“We’d like to be able to update the website on a daily basis,” Marzahl said.
Director of Public Works Jeff Dolezal said there could be a number of enhancements added to the site as the village undertakes new projects and adds software. Case in point: the village plans to update its geographic information system (GIS) mapping software.
“Residents could be able to use certain portions of it,” Dolezal said at the Public Works Committee meeting. “This is something that’s coming up in the future.”
The Personnel Committee had a more robust discussion of the topic. Village President Tom Roanhouse, who serves on the committee, outlined a number of features he would like added, including election information and some of the expectations of serving on the Village Board.
“I don’t think you can give (residents) too much information,” Roanhouse said of the election process. “There are people in this community who are interested and want to get involved.”
Village Administrator Rebecca Ewald said the new website could be a golden opportunity to share comprehensive information on the upcoming Highway 83/20 construction project.
“We have 15,000 cars coming through here on any given day,” Ewald said. “We have some positive things happening with the (highway) project. Let’s start talking about it.”
As with any initiative, the ultimate question is cost and staff resources. It is unlikely the new portal site will be up and running in complete form next year.
“We’ll have to bite off pieces as we can handle them,” Ewald said.
While a number of specifics need to be worked out, Roanhouse said he is pleased the project is moving forward.
“This has to be better than what we have right now,” Roanhouse said. “We’re in such a digital society. I don’t mean to be critical, but I think we are long overdue for this.”