Town of Coupeville unveiled a new website that, officials say, gives them more flexibility and is a better public resource.
The new website has the same address, www.townofcoupeville.org, but features a whole new look, flow and features.
Town staff are still working on the site, but the foundation and features of what the town wants to provide its residents is available for everyone to go check out.
“We knew it needed to be updated for a long time,” said Mayor Molly Hughes. “We had already decided what the format and content was going to be.”
The old website was previously managed by a third-party contractor, which caused delayed updates and gave the town little to no control oversight.
The new site is managed in-house by town staff.
“We can do our own changes now,” Hughes said. “This is really going to be more of a community resource.”
“We can post notices right away if we need to, like if there’s a water main break.”
One of the biggest benefits of the new site is more storage capacity allowing for the addition of audio and video.
The town previously posted town council meeting agendas and minutes but will now include full packets, audio recordings and video.
“We’re committed to having the audio up the week of the meeting,” Hughes said. “We’ll also have the most current town council video up because we’re not sure of our storage capacity yet.”
Also new will be access to agendas, minutes and packets for the Historic Preservation Commission and the Planning Commission.
All of the town council documents for 2016 are posted and for 2017 up to this week. The other sections are still a work in progress.
There’s also a tab that features the town newsletter and any other press releases and pertinent information. Currently the town’s draft Environmental Impact Statement letter is posted as well as press releases from December, when the Navy and town were testing town wells for water contamination.
There are a lot of people in town who don’t get the town newsletter because it’s delivered through water billing, Hughes said. Residents who live in apartment complexes and mobile home parks in town don’t get individual water bills.
Hughes said that page is still a work in progress and the design may change.
“The next goal, is (Clerk-Treasurer) Kelly (Beech) wants to make forms fillable online so customers can fill them out and then print them off to bring in,” she said. “We’re spending time with it each week, trying to finesse it and make it more user friendly.”