The City of Saratoga Springs has just undergone an update to its Web site that replaces the old black-on-green design with a shiny new interface.
City officials say they are still making tweaks but it is largely complete and operational at the same address as the old one: www.saratoga-springs.org. So far, the new Web space is a big improvement, said Deputy Finance Commissioner Kate Jarosh, who spearheaded much of the project (the IT Department falls under the Finance Department).
It's much better than the old site, in functionality as well as the look and feel of it, she said, adding that the hope is to open up City Hall beyond its 9-to-5 hours.
"We're trying to make sure the public can access city government to some extent 24/7," she said.
The bid to build the new site was awarded to Hound Dog Graphics of Ballston Spa last year, at a cost of $9,000. They will continue to work with the city to effect the transition, but after that the keys will largely be handed over for the city to use the new system's greatly improved "back end" access.
"The structure they had originally was just very cumbersome and at this point, outdated," said Hound Dog owner Juergen Klingenberg. "We designed it to be very functional, and also very easily and completely internally maintained."
The city had maintained a simple, one-page site before 2006, when it switched over to the green background format many became familiar with. Though that was a vast improvement, it was sometimes difficult to find the right information or forms if not familiar with the inner workings of city government.
"The last site was OK, it was functional to a certain extent, but you had to understand exactly how City Hall worked to be able to use it," said Jarosh.