Berlin Closes in on New Website

BERLIN- The outmoded town of Berlin website is one step closer to replacement, after the Berlin Town Council authorized staff to pursue a contract to overhaul the site with a local web company.

The Berlin town charter allows the town to bypass the bid process on projects that are subjective and difficult to write hard and fast bid specifications for, according to deputy town administrator Mary Bohlen .

Berlin’s five member Information Technology (IT) Committee unanimously recommended to the town council that the town should pursue a contract with D3 Corp. to create the new site. It is too early for the company to have presented a concept for the redesign, Bohlen said.

“At this point, it’s very preliminary,” said Bohlen. “We’re just in the process of signing up with the company. They haven’t put together any design yet.”

After the redesign, updates will still be handled by town staff.

“We’re looking to them to do the architecture of the site,” Bohlen said.

Staff will now, at the unanimous direction of the town council, move forward with ironing out the details of the deal.       

“They have basically submitted a basic contract,” said Williams.

Town staff, town attorney Dave Gaskill, and the Mayor will review the contract after it is customized to the town’s needs before a final decision.

“Once we’ve got all that hashed out, we’d bring it to council for final approval,” said Williams.

The IT Committee was created in January 2009 to investigate and make recommendations on the town’s technology needs, with a revamped website the chief priority of the citizen and staff group.

The town has used the same basic website for years, a simple listing of links to town information, including elected officials and the town code, in three columns.

Money to handle the website overhaul is already set aside in the current year budget. 

“The goal is to have [the contract] ready by the next meeting,” said Berlin Mayor Gee Williams.

The next town council meeting will be held April 26.

“I am particularly looking forward to moving forward with the web page,” said Bohlen, who has been handling website updates and maintenance.