Southold Town’s new website quietly went live Sept. 7, after nearly 10 months of design and development.
The site was designed by CivicPlus, a Kansas firm hired by the town last November that specializes in websites for municipalities.
Town network and systems administrator Lloyd Reisenberg said Sept. 10 the town chose a “soft launch” to make sure there were no bugs in the program before officially announcing it was live at work session Sept. 11.
“It’s running smoothly,” he said. “It’s very dynamic. It has a completely new look and feel.”
The town had received complaints for years about the outdated and clunky design of its previous website. The old web address, southoldtown.northfork.net is currently being redirected to the new site at southoldtownny.gov.
Mr. Reisenberg said the town is just beginning to upload various forms and explore the new functionality the site will offer residents.
The website will allow residents to receive emergency alerts by email or text message and receive notifications of meetings. Online forms for permits and other business residents conduct with the town are also an available feature.
The town began by creating online forms for Freedom of Information requests and streetlight outage reports and plans to add other frequently used documents, from dog license applications to beach parking permit requests. Mr. Reisenberg said the goal is to allow residents to do most of their town business electronically.
Residents can even pay their property taxes online.
The site also includes a calendar with meeting dates, which are linked to the agendas for those meetings. An iPad and smartphone app is also available to enable viewers to view the site on a smaller screen.
Mr. Reisenberg said the town is always looking for new pictures to add to the site. The current shot on the main page, sunrise over the Robins Island boat dock in New Suffolk, was taken by Mr. Reisenberg at his favorite spot to drink his morning coffee.
The town budgeted $21,287 last year for the initial site setup and will pay $3,150 per year in maintenance and another $1,000 annually for video storage.
“I encourage everybody to see what the site has to offer,” said Mr. Reisenberg.