Western Springs approves $30,000 upgrade to website
Updated: July 29, 2012 4:33PM
Western Springs residents who rely on the village’s website for information can expect big changes by the end of the year.
The Village Board voted, Monday to waive its bidding process and approve the creation of a new, $29,964 website through Civic Plus of Manhattan, Kan.
“They’re tailored market is specifically for governments and that’s why we thought they were the best fit,” said the village’s Municipal Services Director Matt Supert.
A plan has been in the works for the last year to change the village’s website. One of the reasons, Supert said, is to make village information more transparent.
“A lot of people had problems trying to search for content on our website,” Supert said.
He said documents will be easier to find, as will information about projects out for bid.
Village Manager Patrick Higgins said there will be more public records available as well.
“It may help us just in terms of freedom of information stuff,” Higgins said.
Design will also play a role in the new website. Supert said the village will have to meet with Civic Plus to discuss what kind of look is right for the village.
Various village departments will also give input on what content they’d like online.
“That’s one of the goals, is to expand a lot of the department sections … especially departments like the Police Department, who do a lot of press releases,” Supert said.
Since the new website’s creation falls under the category of professional services, the village does not have to put the project out to bid.
“The services provided would not be comparable (among the competing companies because) they offer different features and so forth,” Supert said.
Higgins compared the hiring of Civic Plus to the hiring of an attorney or engineer.
“You don’t bid it,” Higgins said.
Initially, the village also interviewed the web design companies American Eagle and Gov Office before choosing Civic Plus. The existing website was designed by American Eagle in 2006.
The contract with Civic Plus is set to last three years and includes upgrades. Supert said the new website will also have certain features the other companies could not offer.
Higgins and Supert said they expect the website to be finished in about six months. The web address will remain http://www.wsprings.com/.