Ballston reviews Web site designs

The Ballston Town Council will approve a Web site design at its Tuesday, April 1, meeting. They got their first look at the proposals at its Tuesday, March 25, meeting.

Designs submitted by three companies range in price from $11,000 to $12,000, based on the site's features, according to Supervisor Patti Southworth.

Currently the Web site holds a lot of valuable information, but it is not the easiest to navigate, said Councilwoman Kim Ireland. "Additional updates will help organize and format the material to make it more user-friendly."

Proposals were submitted by Alternative Highways, A Little Help Computer Service and Mountain Media. The town is hoping an updated Web site fosters open government by providing tools and information to residents online.

Alternative Highways and A Little Help Computer Services are both operated by Ballston residents, according to Southworth.

A Little Help Computer Service is run by resident David Stern, who at an earlier Town Council meeting said he registered a domain name for the town to host its Web site. He said that often when a new Web site project is publicized people will register a domain name that the town could potentially want and charge exuberant rates for that name.

ALH has been serving the Capital District for more than nine years.

Mountain Media is a Saratoga Springs-based company serving the area since 1998.

No information was available on Alternative Highways.

The town of Ballston has also been working on a town newsletter to encourage communication.

One issue that has been of significant concern to residents is the Ballston Lake Overlay District and the lack of information about the regulations and maps.

The town has been working with the state to hammer out the specific regulations governing waterfront properties within its borders.

Council Member Mary Beth Hynes suggested putting the maps and regulations on the town Web site as early as next week to give residents time to review documents before a public hearing on the issue Wednesday, April 22.

She said that there are two maps for residents to consider that lay out different boundaries for the overlay district.

The council will also send mailers to residents in both overlay districts, as depicted on the maps.

"We're getting the discussion going," Hynes said of placing the maps on the Web site and mailing them to residents.

The Web site is currently maintained by the Deputy Town Clerk Carol Shemo, who updates the site's content in addition to her other managerial and clerical duties, according to Southworth.""

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