2014-02-07 / In the Know

Scarborough launches new town website

Special to the Leader

The Town of Scarborough recently announced it is launching a new website Feb. 10. The new site is designed to be an easy-to-use, citizen-focused resource providing updates, tools and information for anyone who lives and works in Scarborough. The town’s new website address will be www.scarboroughmaine.org.

After receiving citizen feedback on the old site (launched in 2004) it was determined that a major overhaul was needed to make the site easier to use. The new site will feature better navigation, less repetition and clutter, updated material and a more modern design.

Built on a Google platform, the site was constructed in house by staff, at no additional cost to the town.

“We opted to build through Google because it’s an extremely low- cost solution for site hosting and we can take advantage of a wealth of existing Google Apps, including calendars, slideshows, videos, and surveys,” said Sean Bushway, the town’s website coordinator. As an added benefit, because Google is cloud-based, representatives from each department will be able to log in anytime from anywhere to refresh their respective pages, keeping content fresh and updated for visitors.

Jenn Nitchman, the town’s information technology director, added, “By next year, we plan to expand the new website’s design to the Scarborough school district site and leverage Google’s ‘Apps for Education,’ which will enable secure, collaborative, cloud- based learning and education tools for students, staff, administration and the public.”

The project began last July, when a team representing each department assembled to contribute content, ideas for functionality and design concepts.

The new site provides users with a clean, clear structure and search functionality to assist the community with finding the information they need. One-click options on the site banner allows citizens to quickly locate commonly requested actions, such as registering a car, applying for a permit or viewing maps.

The homepage will prominently display the latest municipal news, including alerts, bulletins, Town Council information and a calendar of town events. Visitors will also see photos representing Scarborough’s varied scenery and industries.

“We are confident that this new site will be a welcome change and our citizens will be happy with the new design, layout and functions,” said Town Manager Tom Hall,.“But this is by no means a completed project – the site will always be evolving and growing to meet the needs of the Town. We look forward to adding more features and functionality in the future.”

For more information, contact Jenn Nitchman, director of Technology & Information Services, Town of Scarborough at 730-4071, or email jnitchman@ ci.scarborough.me.us. Text provided by town of Scarborough IT department.

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