City of Chattanooga says website needs $328,000 redesign

City of Chattanooga says website needs $328,000 redesign

June 28th, 2011 by Cliff Hightower in News

www.Chattanooga.gov needs a redesign, the city says.

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The City Council is scheduled to vote at 6 p.m. today on a resolution authorizing Maycreate to update the city's website for Chattanooga.

Chattanooga's website needs a redesign, despite the $328,000 price tag for a complete overhaul, a city spokesman said Monday.

"We have been looking at redoing the city's website for years now," said Richard Beeland, spokesman for Mayor Ron Littlefield. "It needs it. Everybody has complained about our website and how hard it is to navigate."

But one councilman said he is not sure the expenditure is needed right now.

"I don't seriously think we can afford this type of project at this time," said Councilman Jack Benson.

Chattanooga first considered a contract for redesign of the website last week but delayed voting on the project. It is scheduled to come up again at tonight's council meeting.

The city is looking at a contract with Maycreate for $328,000. The city would pay $128,000 for the first phase of the project and $200,000 at a later date for the second.

City officials contend an updated website - it was last updated almost nine years ago - would allow greater transparency for city government and be easier for users to navigate.

Benson said he is having second thoughts about paying for the redesign.

"I'm glad we delayed it," he said. "The more I look at it, the less inclined I am to vote for it."

Councilman Manny Rico said the expenditure is worthwhile.

"If we're going to keep up with the technology, we've got to do this," he said.

The site is "more than your typical website," he said, and cost should not be a factor. It will take some expenditures to make sure the proper technology is in place, he said.

"When we did the website eight years ago, it cost around $300,000," he said.

Contact Cliff Hightower at chightower@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6480. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/CliffHightower.