Fredonia website creation to begin

A new governmental website is finally coming to the village of Fredonia after over a year of not having one in place at all.

The village board at its Monday meeting approved retaining Tractleads for the creation and design of the village website, per a proposal dated April 1 for $2,000 and subject to entering a contract satisfactory to the board.

“We had a request for proposals, and we had four respondents, and (Trustee) Phyllis (Jones) and (Village Administrator) Rick (St. George) and I went through them all, so we chose Tractleads as the provider,” Trustee Janel Subjack said, adding the Rochester area-based company also created the city of Dunkirk’s website, www.dunkirktoday.com.

“I think a website is a very important asset to the village,” Mayor Stephen Keefe said. “It has the potential for communication, as well as marketing; it’s a way of letting people know what Fredonia is like, get a view of it, and it will be a good way for us to get pertinent information to the public in an easy way. I’m very excited for this; my heart’s soaring like an eagle over this.”

According to Tractleads’ proposal, the website should somewhat mimic Dunkirk’s and will be mobile-ready. Rotating banners will be located at the top of the homepage, while contact information, quick links and a meeting and events calendar should also appear. Tractleads also plans on incorporating the live streaming of events and village meetings, as well as the posting of board meeting minutes online.

“Website design will take an estimated four to six weeks,” the proposal stated. “Design time can greatly vary if the customer fails to deliver necessary items to the provider on time, such as website content and images.”

The proposal does not include the writing of content, major updates to the website or hosting, which can be provided for additional charges.

“The content writing could all be covered in-house,” Subjack said. “After the initial two weeks the website is up, we will have a chance to review the website structure and approve it. If we don’t like it, they’ll redesign it from scratch.”

Subjack added the website could help reduce thousands of dollars in paper expenses for the village by posting items and mailings online, which satisfies legal obligations.

“That covers the website (cost),” she concluded.

Fredonia currently does not maintain a website due to the previous one crashing over a year ago.

Since then, complaints over a lack of transparency and information have surfaced, both on the board and within the public. Some board members, such as Subjack and Trustee Joseph Cerrie, previously stated they would support a new website once funds were specifically earmarked in the budget; that money is now in the 2014-15 budget proposal, which is expected to receive approval next week.

Also during the meeting, the 1891 Fredonia Opera House Inc. was allowed to install a flat-screen monitor on the lobby wall outside the Opera House entrance. The monitor (and its installation) is being donated by DFT Communications at no cost to the village and will help promote upcoming events.

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