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Massena’s website gets a makeover

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MASSENA - The Massena community’s website will be getting an extreme makeover just in time for its 10th birthday.

The town, village, and Greater Massena Business Development Corporation (BDC) have said the website will be undergoing a renovation, with a goal of unveiling the new site at the end of 2014.

The community portal, which can be found at www.massenaworks.com., was launched in 2005.

“I think this takes us into the 21st century,” Mayor James F. Hidy said. “The overall fact that it will be more user friendly, it should definitely enhance it for us.”

The town of Massena has approved using compact funds to cover the development costs of the new community site. The Massena Town Board had allocated $25,000 from its compact fund revenues in June 2013 for a proposed town of Massena website removation. “Our current MassenaWorks isn’t user friendly,” Supervisor Joseph D. Gray said at the time.

Mr. Hidy said the new website should be much easier to navigate.

“We looked at several leading providers of community-focused web developers and were very impressed with CivicPlus. Their expertise is in creating websites for communities that are extremely user-friendly so that we can encourage better communication with folks in Massena and those interested in learning more about Massena,” Mr. Hidy said.

Mr. Hidy said that many people have been critical in the planning of the update, but said that Village Trustee Patricia K. Wilson has been particularly instrumental to the cause.

Ms. Wilson was also involved with the development of the original website nearly a decade ago and has assisted with regular maintenance.

“We did a lot of research before we selected CivicPlus for our web overhaul project,” she said. “They specialize in the type of site we wanted for Massena with the ideal tools to keep the content current and improve the flow of communication back and forth with our residents.”

Once completed, the site will feature a host of new and updated amenities, including:

• New and up-to-date information on the many departments and services in Massena

• Notify Me, an automated email and text message notification system that allows citizens to subscribe to different topics and groups to receive regular updates on meetings and news

• Comprehensive, searchable calendars listing meetings, community events, and other important dates, organized into easily accessible categories

• The Transparency Portal that gives citizens direct access to public meeting agendas and minutes, budget information, municipal code, voting and election information, planning documents, and much more

• Forms to apply for services and permits that are downloadable and in some cases, can be completed and submitted online

Mr. Hidy is optimistic that the site will be up and running by the new year.

“I think once we hear back from our departments – they will give suggestions and such – I think once that’s accomplished we should be all set,” he said.

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