Internet upgrades

City, county, Re-1
will freshen up
their websites

Keywords: Government,

Locals and visitors soon can expect updated web pages for Montezuma County, the city of Cortez and the Re-1 school district, officials report.

However, a city proposal to collaborate with other governmental entities on a type of communal website fell through.

The so-called portal system would have streamlined the look and organization of local websites. The city and county of Montrose uses the portal approach.

The idea was to link various governmental departments and their information under a more convenient format, explained city manager Shane Hale. Cortez offered to fund the $25,000 start up, and the county and school district would have paid $8,000 each to launch their web pages under the umbrella plan. But there were no takers.

“It was a cool vision to build a landing site for Cortez and the area, but it did not take root,” he said.

Instead, area websites will be drawn up separately.

The city plans to have an updated page by July. The design, by Civic Plus, will feature fresh content, and can be accessed via mobile phones, a growing consumer trend for accessing information. City staff will have an easier time updating their respective departments’ information on the new site as well. Paying bills on the website will continue, and will be made easier.

“We need to grow with the technology needs of the under-30 crowd, but at the same time, a lot of people just pick up the phone to get information, so we answer the call,” Hale said. “The new website will be less cumbersome,” and more representative of area attractions.

Showcasing “Denny Lake (on the current site) is a bit misleading; we’re not a lake town.”

Montezuma County is also updating its website, currently not known for its flashy appearance.

“When we (commissioners) looked at the website, we said we had to do something about it — we’re not in the Stone Age,” quipped commissioner Larry Don Suckla. “The difference with the new site will be night and day.”

County officials are planning more pictures and video links for fairgrounds activities and events, such as the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde bike race. Suckla said pictures of department buildings and directions for where to go to conduct various county and court business will be added.

Public documents will still be available, and department heads will have more control over updating their sites.

The new county website, designed by SuBee Web Services, will be launched soon, Suckla said. The site will also be more compatible with mobile phones as well.

“People passing through can pull us up on their smart phones and find things to do in our area.”

Montezuma-Cortez School District Re-1 is also reporting an updated website, according to Mark Knox, information technology director.

The new site is expected to launch this summer and will feature more advanced technology, more data storage, and offer teachers more instructional tools.

“Teachers will be able to upload podcasts for courses much more easily,” Knox said. “Right now there are restrictions on file sizes and capacity.”

The upgraded site will be more functional, he said, and have a more “newsy content to it.”

The district pays $1,200 per year for the site, with the federal government picking up the rest of the tab.