Funds for new Whitman County website approved

County will pay $20,000 in first year, $4,000 every year after for hosting, maintenance



District 3 Whitman County Commissioner Micheal Largent says he is happy the new website will allow Whitman County to finally transition into the 21st century.

LUKE HUDSON, Evergreen reporter

Whitman County Commissioners approved the use of $20,000 to build and host a new website during a meeting on Nov. 4.

Craig Wines, county network administrator, said the project began Wednesday, and he expects the project to be finished in about 16 weeks if all goes according to plan.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Wines said. “I fully expected every day to come in and find the servers not running.”

County Information Technology Director Lance Bishop said the county will pay about $16,000 to CivicPlus for the redesign and another $4,000 annually for hosting and maintenance services.

He said it would cost more for the county to keep running the website because of indirect expenses like buying new server equipment, manually archiving the site and electrical costs.

The new site will correct a number of the issues the old website has like an inconsistent and messy appearance, and a tendency to not comply with ADA-accessibility requirements, he said.

“Do you have about four hours and extra pens?” Bishop said. “That’s how long it would take [to list all the issues.]”

The new site will meet ADA requirements such as a tool for the website to be read aloud for users who may be sight-impaired, Bishop said.

“We’re very happy to see the county transition to the 21st century in terms of web presence,” County Commissioner Michael Largent said.

CivicPlus designs its services for local governments, Bishop said. The company bases the price of web services on the population the government represents.

One of the new features the site will include is the ability to submit a request to be added to the agenda of county meetings. Another feature includes email notifications about county meetings, provided people create an account on the site, Bishop said.

Bishop said the City of Moscow website was built by the same company so people can expect the new site to have similar features and appearance.