Porter County plans new look for website
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent June 23, 2013 11:18PM
VALPARAISO — Porter County will soon be hitting the refresh button on its website.
Starting July 15, www.porterco.org will have a whole new look, one county officials said would be both interactive and user-friendly for the county’s constituents.
“It’s awesome. It’s a great, great website,” said Porter County Commissioner Nancy Adams, R-Center, whose been working on the project with the county’s information technologies and services director, Sharon Lippens, since last year.
Civic Plus, which also designed the city of Valparaiso’s website, is developing the site for $63,000. The county also is paying about $12,6000 annually for site maintenance, Lippens said.
The site will be easier to use than what the county has now. If someone wants to know where to go for a marriage license, Adams said, “they punch that in and it will take them right to the Clerk’s Office.”
The site, which the county will showcase at its booth during the Porter County Fair next month, also offers alerts on road closures and other matters, and event listings for the county and local not-for-profit agencies.
While the Memorial Opera House will remain with its web host through Indiana Dunes Tourism, Lippens said the parks department, the Expo Center and the county museum will be switching to the new site, though that will take a little longer.
Folks will be able to customize the site for the information they need. There also will be a free app for mobile devices, and the new site also will offer meeting agendas and minutes for the county’s many boards.
Eventually, video of meetings will be available on the site. The county has done some initial recording of meetings as a test.
Lippens isn’t sure yet when the video will go online, but they will be available sometime after a meeting, rather than in real time.
The new site also will avail the opportunity to report problems, like trees down on a county road.
“We really want to build that dialogue with our citizens, to help us help you,” Lippens said.