By Lawrence Powel
Annapolis County has a new website and it's dynamic, visually stimulating, useful, and interactive.
"It's better," said the county's Cody Joudry who spearheaded the project. "Everything about it is better."
In fact the new site encourages local residents to connect with local municipal government and makes it easy and even fun and educational to do so.
He described the old site as static, basic, and not very visually stimulating. It consisted of basic information and there were no tools for the public. It may have been a good website in its day, but technology and public expectations change.
The new site pops off the page with a large carousel of photos rotating in and out, depicting different aspects of the county, its culture, and its people. The carousel themes tie in with the county's 'Naturally Rooted' logo. Categories include: Rooted in Discovery, Rooted in Nautical Adventure, Our Nation Took Root Here, Rooted in Quality of Life, Rooted in New Beginnings, Rooted in a Personal Touch, Rooted in Generations, and Rooted in Natural Curiosity -- and finishes with Now Come Find Us! And you'll have options to explore the categories Living Here, Working Here, and Visiting Here.
From that home page, visitors can make contact with the county in multiple ways, accessing civic services, data bases, calendars (you can even submit your own events), waste collection schedules, fire departments, RCMP services, water and sewer information, and even find yourself on a map that will tell you if you're in a zoned area, and if you're on county sewer and water.
The new site also has weather information, a text resizer, integrated social media, and will soon have a complimentary Facebook page. There's a How Can We Help You section with the most common topics in 12 groups with visitors working their way to answers on such subjects as animal control, bylaw enforcement, and taxes. There's a Regional Emergency Management Organization page, email lists, news, notices for such things as water boil orders, and online forms visitors can fill out online for such things as payment arrangements, and water hookups.
Nadine Barteaux, who's also been working on the project, said she wants people to explore the new website and has come up with a contest where visitors visit www.annapoliscounty.ca to find an entry form, fill it out and answer three questions -- except they'll have to explore the site to find the answers. She said there will be 20 T-shirts to give away and a grand prize of a night at a Raven Haven cottage -- plus some other goodies.
Joudry said the website works on Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and all new web browsers. And it works on tablets as well plus the county is looking at smartphone (mobile) capability.
Look for the new website at www.annapoliscounty.ca.