LAMPASAS — A new website launched by the city May 16 is running smoothly and has been well-received by residents and city staff, said Monica Wright, information technology director.
The interactive website was the result of an eight-month project with a $30,000 price tag. The Lampasas City Council approved the capital improvement project last year using existing funds in the budget and worked with a company called CivicPlus, based in Manhattan, Kan.
CivicPlus specializes in city and county e-government websites using an interactive communication plan, according to the company’s website.
“What we’re really aiming for is to have citizens sign up for message alerts and notifications,” Wright said. “We sent out a survey last year to citizens asking for their feedback on city services, and some responses indicated they wanted the city to improve its communication. I think the council really took that to heart.”
Wright said the new cost-effective system is expected to save money by eliminating time spent recording, reporting and responding to service issues. It also produces work order tickets routed to appropriate department heads by notifying and updating them electronically.
Mayor Jerry Grayson said the system is an improvement over the old website.
“I have used some of the features since we went online,” he said. “I found it to have a great deal of information pertaining to city government and local events, and it’s also user-friendly.”
With a new website tool called “Notify Me,” residents can sign up to receive notifications, via email and text message, of city-posted meetings, news, employment opportunities, departmental calendars, community activities and alerts. They can also get information about their utility service and pay their utility bills online.
“The alert center includes items such as Amber Alerts, weather conditions and road closure information,” Wright said.
“Report a Concern” is one of Wright’s favorite new features, where concerns can be reported online.
“With this, we have another interactive tool between city staff and citizens, allowing residents to report a problem to city officials,” she said. “We’ve had two reports so far, and I was able to give the address and send the message to dispatch in a matter of minutes.”
The website also can be used to obtain information about utility service, pay bills and apply for permits.
The system is very detail-oriented and allows the city to monitor and record how many people are accessing and using the new features, Wright said.
“I’m really proud of this system and these new communication tools,” she said. “We will be adding some additional features over time.”