Town Of New Paltz To Launch New Website


The Town of New Paltz will have a new website in the next four to six weeks, according to Town Supervisor Susan Zimet.

The Town Board approved Virtual Towns and Schools to design a new website for the town.

Zimet said the current website is not user friendly and has given town board members difficulty when trying to post information.

According to Zimet, Secretary Carol Connolly and Highway Supervisor Chris Marx have tried to update the site a number of times with minimal results.

“It has been a problem for a long time,” she said.

Zimet went to the Association of Towns expo — an exhibition for town planning, zoning and emergencies — intent on finding a company who could design a new website.

She said she wanted to hire a company that worked primarily on government websites, as opposed to one that works for businesses in the private sector.

She found Virtual Towns and Schools, a business headquartered in Maynard, Mass., whose clients include cities, towns, villages, counties, school districts, libraries, utilities, public safety departments and municipal associations across 15 states, according to their website.

The cost of a new site concerned Zimet, who said she had been told the cost of hiring a company to design a website would cost between $18,000 and $25,000. However, it will only cost $6,495 for Virtual Towns and Schools to design a new site.

Because Virtual Towns and Schools works predominantly for municipalities, public and private schools and are “service-centric,” they recognize the “realities of…clients’ reduced staff resources [and] limited available time,” according to their website.

Zimet said the goal is to have a “workable site that gets information to the public.”

The new website will be “more responsive to the public,” encompassing all of the Town Board and committee meetings, which are not easily accessible at the moment, she said.

Zimet said users will be able to find out everything that happens each month at Town Hall.

Virtual Towns and Schools, which has operated since 1998, offers five different website templates and an option for clients to customize their own. Zimet said she wants a simple site, that is easy to access and navigate and the board is currently deciding on one of the five to use.

Zimet said she also hopes to add a “creative” element to the site — a place that will “highlight events and great things happening in New Paltz.”