City launches new-look website

Site designed to be more user-friendly

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
The new city of Marshalltown website launched Thursday, and brings a modern look to the city’s online presence. It can be found at marshalltown-ia.gov.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO The new city of Marshalltown website launched Thursday, and brings a modern look to the city’s online presence. It can be found at marshalltown-ia.gov.

The city of Marshalltown’s website has been overhauled with a new look as officials launched www.marshalltown-ia.gov this week.

“The communication between the city and the citizens will be much easier,” said Marshalltown City Clerk Shari Coughenour of the site. “That was the whole reason that we went out for the new website.”

The Marshalltown City Council unanimously adopted a resolution to contract with CivicPlus of Manhattan, Kan. for the website redesign back in March.

Coughenour said the new website makes it easier for both citizens and staff to share and receive information.

“It’s really cool, every person in the city can go on and select what they want to see and get notified about,” she said. “It will be driven by the subscriber rather than the city, you can turn those notifications on or off.”

Subscribers will be able to receive city council agendas, for instance.

“We’ll be using the new agenda notification … on the Dec. 27 council meeting at noon,” Coughenour said. “I’ll keep sending the agenda links out on email, for notifications, for a few months so people get used to the new [website notifications].”

Council agendas back to 2014 are also available on the site.

“We brought over quite a bit of back history,” Coughenour said, adding she can help get council meeting information prior to 2014 to those who send a request.

With many questions about the city from residents, Coughenour said the site has frequently asked questions (FAQ) pages.

“Each department has FAQs,” she said. “If you visit the city clerk’s FAQs … I’ve updated those for questions that are frequently asked.”

Coughenour said she can answer questions and provide links to the city code and other documents for more information.

“If it’s stuff where I get the same question more than once, I’ll create a FAQ and get the information up there,” she said. “You never really know what the citizens want to know until they ask; it’s an excellent way to get the information around.”

She also said city staff will appreciate the site’s ease of use.

“It’s actually very easy for staff to maintain,” Coughenour said. “In the back end, we only have to post a document once, and then we can use that link throughout the website.”

More information on the new website will be released by the city in January, she said.

“The old website was just so old and deficient at providing the services we wanted to provide,”

Coughenour said. “This new website will do that for us, will help us get there.”

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Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com