A new East Hampton website set for a summer launch will let residents do more transactions with the town online and allow department heads to post information without going through a webmaster.
“We’re just trying to get into the 21st century,” said town Supervisor Larry Cantwell. “You’ll be able to buy permits, pay your taxes — all of those kinds of things. It’ll make the website more transaction-based.”
Charlene Kagel-Betts, chief auditor for the town, said the new website will be phased in over the next three years and will cost $60,000, with the funds coming from the operating budget. She said there will be a free redesign by the vendor every five years to keep the site completely updated.
Kagel-Betts said the current town site dates to the early 2000s.
“It’s really very hard to navigate and we really don’t have any online services available. We just started with tax payments online,” Kagel-Betts said. As of Dec. 14, property tax bills can be paid by credit card or electronic check for a fee.
Kagel-Betts said a citizen notification system will be available through the new site that will allow residents to ask to be contacted about things such as a new town board agenda or when trees are being cut down on their block.
“The chief of police can do notifications if a road is closing and send out email blasts to people in the area,” Kagel-Betts said.
“The beauty of this is they can be notified by text, email or phone in the case of a catastrophic event or a life-threatening situation,” Cantwell said.
Cantwell said the new site will also allow department heads to do direct postings.
“It’ll enable them to post directly to the website, which is not a feature now. They can provide more robust and timely information on the website.”
The vendor for the new site is Manhattan, Kansas-based Civic Plus, which has nearly 2,000 government clients worldwide.