July 26, 2008

Lincoln Considers Upgrading Web Site

By Kevin Barlow

LINCOLN - City officials in Lincoln believe it's time for the city's Web site to receive a fresh look. A committee which includes several aldermen, Fire Chief Kent Hulett and Police Chief Stuart Erlenbush have met to discuss potential options.While aldermen hope for a major makeover, they learned they could be constricted by the budget. Only $1,000 was placed in the current fiscal year budget for upgrading the site at www.cityoflincoln-il.gov.Alderman Wanda Rohlfs said the city has considered an outside source for a full upgrade, but it isn't financially feasible.The fees could range from $2,500 to $4,500, and needless to say, that is out of our budget range, Rohlfs said. Part of the problem is that we don't know exactly how much time it would take to make all of the changes and include everything we need.Agendas for upcoming City Council meetings and the minutes from those meetings are required to be posted on a city government's Web site.Mayor Beth Davis-Kavelman agrees the city's Web site needs an upgrade, but she isn't in favor of spending a lot of money to do so.We had a group of high school students work on a project to redesign the site and I thought some good ideas came out of that, Davis-Kavelman said. Maybe we could take some of those ideas and tweak them a little.The site is updated by a part-time employee in the building and safety office. Meanwhile, the Lincoln Police Department's site is administered by Detective Paul Adams, who may be able to offer some limited assistance.I think he may be able to help as long as it doesn't take a lot of time, but for an hour or two, he could probably sit down and offer some assistance, Erlenbush said.The police department Web site is owned and maintained by the department.Alderman Jeff Hoinacki agreed with Davis-Kavelman that more research is needed before making a final decision.I looked at the Taylorville and Jacksonville sites and they are out of this world, Hoinacki said. They have nice graphics and links. The Illinois Municipal League and some other Web sites have examples of the work they do and are nicely done. For the $1,000 in our budget, I just feel we should have more than what we have now.After gathering more information, the committee will schedule another meeting to discuss the available options.

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