Canal Winchester officials hope to give the city a new website that takes advantage of new technologies and more intuitive designs to provide a better experience for residents.
Finance Director Amanda Jackson announced at city council's Sept. 3 finance committee meeting that web design firm CivicPlus has been selected to design and implement a new website for the city.
"We've needed a new website for a long time now," Jackson said. "We get a lot of feedback day-to-day from residents about what they like -- and especially what they don't like."
She said the city website will be rebuilt from scratch and will include email maintenance.
According to Jackson, the new website is expected to launch next spring. It will cost Canal Winchester about $36,000 over the four-year agreement.
Prior to the launch, Jackson said, the staff will work closely with CivicPlus and any necessary focus groups to determine what modules will be used to best serve the community.
One other company, AFS web, also bid on the project but was ultimately not selected by the city's management team, IT Coordinator Rick Brown said.
"CivicPlus is a national firm that has completed sites for other local government entities such as Athens, Grandview Heights, Marysville, Whitehall and Worthington," Brown said.
"The companies were analyzed, based upon the content management system they incorporated into their sites and the company's product had to be customizable. We did not want a template or cookie-cutter site."
Brown said several factors played a role in the final decision, such as experience, direct interaction with the designers, stability, features, compatibility, upgradeability and the product demonstration.
"Both proposals were submitted and closely analyzed by the management team and CivicPlus was selected unanimously," he said.