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Soldotna website to be overhauled

Posted: July 17, 2014 - 8:02pm  |  Updated: July 17, 2014 - 8:03pm

Soldotna is in the process of re-designing it’s city website, slated to launch this fall. The overhaul will result in a more dynamic, interactive online database.

“The current website has been a static placeholder that hasn’t changed much since the beginning,” said Project Manager Heather Dukowitz. “We want information to be current and to make navigation easier and more intuitive.”

The company Vision Internet Providers, Inc., was contracted last fall to develop the new site, Dukowitz said. Governmental departments are currently in the process of determining final content, she said. Vision Internet was selected for their experience building government websites, Dukowitz said.

In conjunction with the overhaul, the city is working with Soldotna based web designer, Inger Deede of Agnew Beck, to develop a style guide that will be used for all city projects, and eventually incorporated in the final design of the website, Dukowitz said. The style guide will contain elements such as fonts and colors to maintain consistency.

“Our goal is that the new site will streamline business operations, provide greater accessibility to city services, and improve transparency and communication,” Dukowitz said. “Part of this is to generate interest among residents, visitors, and investors in the resources and attractions of our area.”

Director of Economic Development and Planning Stephanie Queen said attendees at this year’s chamber member appreciation breakfast overwhelmingly identified the city’s website as an important resource for information about official City business.

The City’s website is not currently meeting the needs of the community, Queen said. It is challenging for businesses and residents to interact with the city online or get information about the government. The new site will better highlight this information and make it easier to find, she said.

The Soldotna City Council appropriated $35,000 for the website re-design project one year ago, as part of last year’s capital budget, Dukowitz said.

Development began immediately and the city received 19 proposals from web designers interested in working on the project, Queen said.

The city is open to hearing ideas from the public, about information or functions that should be included in the new website, Queen said. While the city has a long wish list of new functions to include, the design team is not yet at the point to make any final decisions.

For public inquiries email Dukowitz at hdukowitz@ci.soldotna.ak.us

Kelly Sullivan can be reached at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com

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