Carroll County will get a new website featuring more information and services for county residents, according to discussion that took place during the Feb. 16 meeting of the county's board of commissioners.
The board accepted a quote from Lehman Website Design and Marketing, of Canton, with a one-time payment of $16,200 and an annual web licensing fee of $150 after commissioners clerk Christopher Modranski gave a presentation outlining the case for a new county website.
Calling the county's current website outdated, difficult to update, and aesthetically unappealing for users, Modranski pointed out that the existing website is also not mobile-device-friendly, which prevents it from appearing at the top of Google search results.
According to information Modranski presented, Google has begun to rank websites by whether they can be formatted to appear on mobile devices. Websites that are not mobile-friendly will not appear in search results.
With seventy percent of Internet users browsing on a mobile device, and 75 percent of Internet searches conducted using Google, Modranski said many users will have difficulty even finding the current website.
Businesses that might consider a facility in Carroll County could be among those users, he said, adding that the limitations and appearance of the current website could dissuade businesses from considering the region.
Modranski and clerk supervisor Janice Leggett stated that a new website could be designed with a mobile-friendly format as well as many different types of information, including an electronic version of the county map, which the current website is unable to host.
Other types of information discussed for the website were a webpage where residents could report roadway obstacles and damage requiring attention; a blog or newsletter featuring information about county programs and news; a webpage where residents could submit payments online for court fees, dog license tags and more; and a portal with information and forms for county employees.
Modranski said he received quotes from two other website firms in addition to Lehman: ServerSIM, based in Massillon, provided a quote for $17,739 with an annual fee of $629, and Karcher Group, of North Canton, submitted a quote of $16,000 with an annual fee of $600.
According to Modranski, Lehman will be able to host the new website on its server. The other two vendors said the county would have to contract with a separate vendor to host the website.
Modranski said Lehman also offers graphic design services for websites, while the other vendors do not.
He noted that the board of commissioners office will be able to maintain and update the website after it is created.
In other business, the board:
ANNOUNCED it will accept bids up to and opened on Thursday, March 23, at 10 a.m. for roadway materials to be used by the county highway department for the period of April 23, 2017, to April 22, 2018. Materials include limestone, gravel, slag, cinders, and RACP; asphalt materials and road oil; and ready-mix concrete.
ANNOUNCED it will accept bids up to and opened on Thursday, March 23, at 10 a.m. for 87 octane unleaded gasoline, premium grade off-road diesel fuel, and premium grade on-road diesel fuel to be delivered to the Carroll County Highway Garage, 200 Kensington Road N.E., from April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018.
LEARNED that County Transit Director Sonja Leggett has applied to the Ohio Department of Transportation for an extension of the transit department's expanded service hours.
Leggett said the extension will enable the department to offer extended hours until April 31. Currently, the trial period for extended hours is set to end Feb. 28.
Leggett noted statistics showing increased ridership and trips that she said are a result of the extended hours, which add one-and-a-half hours before the usual 7:30 a.m. start time and after the usual 4:30 p.m. end time.
She said the transit department saw 712 additional trips because of the hours. Of that total, 346 passenger trips took place in the hours prior to the usual start time, while 366 trips took place after the usual end time.
APPROVED contracts with the Carroll County Council on Aging Senior Citizens Friendship Center to provide transportation within the village at $100 per day and transportation outside the village at $1.75 per mile for the length of the trip. An hourly fee of $10 will be charged if the driver has to wait more than 1.5 hours for the rider. The contract lasts from Feb. 1 to Dec. 31 of this year.
AUTHORIZED Leggett to apply to ODOT for funds to purchase two minivans at a cost of $41,584 each. Leggett said federal funds would provide $37,246 for each vehicle with a local match of a total $8,138 also required.
APPROVED a road use maintenance agreement with Rover Pipeline LLC to use two miles of Azalea Road (C.R. 22) for operations involving construction at the Leesville Compressor Station in Orange Township.
APPROVED a contribution from the county of $800 for the annual Memorial Day services.
ACCEPTED a quote from Crim and Crim for wallpaper removal, wall surface repair and painting in the county prosecutor's office at a cost of $25 per hour for wallpaper removal plus $6,800 for materials and painting.
APPROVED a contract with Frontier Communications of America in the amount of $2,500 for the set-up of 911-related data from Feb. 28, 2017, to Feb 27, 2020. Board Vice President Robert Wirkner said the data will enable 911 emergency dispatching software to identify each office within the courthouse. Formerly, the dispatching software showed any courthouse office that called 911 as being the commissioners office.
APPROVED a resolution and letter of support asking legislators to allow counties and municipalities to keep sales tax revenue from the Medicaid Managed Care Organization. The resolution and letter are in regards to recent legislation that would exempt Medicaid recipients from paying sales tax on purchases of medical equipment.