Sundridge launches new website Friday

·2 min read

After five months of work, the Village of Sundridge is ready to launch its new website Friday.

Deputy clerk Christine Hickey says it’s the first redesign in about 10 years and visitors to the site will notice many new features.

Hickey says one feature is the acceptance of online payments for things such as property taxes and dog tags.

She says those payments will need to be done by credit card for now.

The new site also allows staff to submit certain forms online, publish other information quickly and is more user friendly.

“We’ve minimized the number of clicks people have to use to find what they’re looking for,” Hickey says.

If someone needs information on roads, there will be a drop down menu where people can get answers, she says. The search bar also will make it easier for people to read media releases and public notices.

Another change the public will see is the new council calendar, with agendas, minutes and recordings, if applicable, all in one area.

The municipality contracted E Solutions Group of Waterloo, Ont., to carry out the redesign at a cost of approximately $20,000.

The company works with public-sector clients such as law enforcement, educational institutions, health organizations and municipalities on their websites.

“We worked very closely with the web designer on the content, the design and features we were looking for,” Hickey says.

She points out that a part of the cost was offset by the Municipal Modernization Funding Program, which the Doug Ford government announced in November 2019 to help small and rural communities deliver services more efficiently.

Hickey says the launch will be seamless.

“We don't anticipate any downtime.”

For now when people visit the official website, they’re greeted with a detailed menu on the homepage and a partial image of the community’s Lake Bernard, which sits right in the village.

Hickey says Lake Bernard became the focus on the homepage and is what visitors will see first.

One feature that will carry over to the new site is the photo gallery, but with some changes.

Hickey notes it’s doubtful that existing images will be transitioned over, but she says “staff will have the flexibility to change the pictures as we see fit.”

Hickey says the community has had an official website for about 15 years.

Even though it underwent a revamp some years earlier, she says the redesign was done in order to comply with provincial content accessibility rules, which take effect Jan. 1, 2021.

Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative, The North Bay Nugget