Township seeking new website host

ALPENA — Alpena Township Supervisor Nathan Skibbe is seeking bids for website hosting and design so the township’s website can be updated and workable for township employees.

Skibbe said the current website has gone down twice in the last three months. He said the first instance was when the website went down and was resolved within two or three days.

“We lost two days without a functioning website for the township and that has been partially corrected,” Skibbe said. “1010 Technology was able to get a hold of SpeedConnect and at least get all our data files from SpeedConnect and luckily we did that because this previous week, we had another instance where our website without any contact has just gone down.”

Skibbe said updating the website is something that needs to be seriously considered moving forward into the budget. Skibbe was contacted by a company called Revize and the company only works with municipalities and governmental agencies.

If the township decides to go with Revize, there would be a one-time charge of $2,500 for a website design and development fee and an annual tech support, software subscription, and web hosting service cost of $1,200.

“1010 Technology said the price of $2,500 was very reasonable,” Skibbe said.

Skibbe was told of a second company for the website hosting and would like to get the opportunity to contact and get some information about that company and look at it at the board’s next meeting.

“One of the other issues is effective Jan. 1 of this year, websites for municipalities have be 88 compliant so there needs to be five color queues between two outlines, options for non-English speaking peoples, services for hearing impaired individuals and where it will have a medium text as you scroll through,” Skibbe said. “That is something that is going to be needed.”

Skibbe said if Revize is the company that hosts the website, it will take all of the preexisting data and transform into different formats.

“They will transfer it into a format and have everything laid out the way we want it and then we go through this year with this company at $1,200,” he said. “It would give the ability for in-house additions, daily additions to the website and be much more effective.”

With SpeedConnect, nothing has been able to be updated on the website.

“The website is not down. You can still see everything and you can print, you can do whatever, but you cannot put any additional information on it, so our minutes are not posted,” Clerk Karie Bleau said.

It is now tabled until the board’s public input session next week and Skibbe is going to seek at least three bids for companies to host the website to fulfill the website needs.

“It’s an expenditure that we’re going to have to face no matter what,” he said.

Julie Goldberg can be reached via email at jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688.