CHAMPAIGN – In the middle of a $31,000 process to update the city's website, officials are hoping to make information easier to find and become more "interactive with the customers."
The city website is "an important tool for the future," Information Technologies Director Fred Halenar said, especially as technology begins to allow users at home to do things that in the past would have required a trip to the City Building.
The current website, the result of a 2007 redesign, has brought complaints from users that information is hard to find. Halenar said he is hoping a new redesign will eliminate those navigation issues.
Public documents, contact information, news releases, video of city council meetings and parking payments – among other data – have been available on the Champaign website for some time, but officials may be looking at expanding that vault of information over time and as new technology allows them to do so.
A city calendar lists various events and public meetings, but that calendar rarely lists all the public meetings that have been scheduled.
A feature that will be rolled out as early as next month is an interactive map that allows users to find a number of tidbits about their neighborhoods or even specific properties: neighborhood or homeowners' associations, which police are assigned to the district and which council members represent a property, for example.
That feature has been available to the public as a test version for several weeks, and it will be finalized soon. Its completion will coincide with an informational video to be shown on the city's television station explaining how to use the map, Halenar said.
Residents could see the overhauled site in July or August.