Borough officials expect a full makeover of Fair Lawn's drab temporary website to be finished by late January.
The temporary site, a colorless and informationally-barren shell of its former self, has been in place since September when the town's former web host unexpectedly closed up shop and took Fair Lawn's website and email system down with it.
In late October, council approved the borough manager's recommendation to move forward with constructing a new-and-improved website, contracting with e-government provider QScend Technologies for about $30,000 to design, build and host the borough's new site. Fair Lawn will pay about $4,000 annually for website maintenance and 24-hour support, but its steeper initial costs will be covered by found money from old bond ordinances.
When the new website is rolled out its functionality will mirror the old site, but its content is expected to be more relevant for residents.
“We’re going to really spend a lot of time with the department heads to make sure that...we are able to lead our residents to access the information that they want," borough manager Tom Metzler said. "I think that’s something that the old site was lacking. If you’re coming in for a building permit, I would like the website to be able to tell you what you should have with you before you come in.”
Once the new site has launched, town officials will begin discussing the purchase of additional modules that would allow users to do things like pay taxes, tickets and permit fees online.
"There's two objectives," Metzler said. "The first goal and objective is to get the site up in the new format with much more resident information by department. The next objective is then to have that interactivity that residents can get more information from home so that they don’t have to come here all the time."