Port City Eyes Website Upgrade

OSWEGO, NY – Mayor William Barlow Jr. took the first steps Monday night to rejuvenate the Port City’s presence on the web.

The mayor said he has worked collaboratively and extensively with Community Development Director Justin Rudgick and City Attorney Kevin Caraccioli in developing the first phase in this comprehensive marketing approach.

The city can do a more effective job promoting itself to attract individuals and families to live here as well as businesses and investors to invest here as well, the mayor said.

Shane Stepien talks about the potential benefits of a new city website.
Shane Stepien talks about the potential benefits of a new city website.

“Phase one of this process is to revamp the city’s website,” Barlow said. “We need to ensure that our city presents well in the current technological age where research and decisions are made through the internet.”

He is looking for a financial commitment of $24,500 with $22,500 for website design services and $2,000 for photography and video rights to use on the website, he said.

The city’s internet presence is just as important as anything else today, he explained.

“Obviously, if you have been on the city’s website recently, I’m embarrassed of it,” he said. “When the city of Oswego website pops up – it’s not very impressive, in my opinion.”

The (new) website could be “a serious form of communication that we could take advantage of,” the mayor continued.

The city is considering StepOne Creative to create the new website.

Oswego’s new site would have the mayor’s Twitter account, links to Facebook, links to the councilors’ Facebook pages and the county’s website among other features, the mayor said.

And, they’d like to offer people a way to pay on-line, he added.

“It’ll have a map, photo galleries and all that good stuff. I’d also like to do profiles of the mayor, department heads and councilors,” he said. “I think it’s really time to upgrade the website. In the year 2016, $25,000 is pretty reasonable.”

“(The city’s) ‘storefront’ is that website,” Shane Stepien told the councilors.

The website the city has now and the website previous to that was an embarrassment as well, he said.

Councilor Nate Emmons asked about the new site’s security. It would be very secure, Stepien said.

“Have you done any municipality website,” Councilor Pat McLaughlin asked.

While they haven’t specifically done a city site, Stepien said they customize the city’s site … “pull in the strengths and resources” of the city.

“It’s really going to be neat to see how this really becomes a destination site,” he said. “Right now, we’re not a destination. This site will enable us to be one, to really tell our story.”

There would be an annual fee for license and web hosting services of $780.

The first year cost would be $25,280 and the following year is the $780 licensing fee, the mayor pointed out.

Funding would come out of the Community Development Office’s budget line.

The committee sent the request to the full council for consideration.