FONDA - The Village Board unanimously approved a motion Monday to launch the village into cyperspace.
The trustees voted to contract with Digital Towpath, a government entity formed through municipal agreements that specializes in developing Web sites for smaller municipalities across New York state. Officials expect to have the site up and running within a few months, and it will help get residents and businesses more involved and informed.
"It's better for the village to have a Web site so potential prospects who want to start businesses will have a way to get in touch with us," Trustee Robert Galusha said.
The annual contract with Digital Towpath is not yet finalized. The village will pay about $600 a year for the service and will need no additional staff to maintain the Web site. The annual fee will include technical support for the system and phone and e-mail support for the software.
"It's a Web-based application and we provide access to the tools," Digital Towpath Director Jeanne Brown said Tuesday. "Each municipality is responsible for the content on their site, and they don't need technical knowedge. They just need to know how to use a word processer and open a browser to keep the site updated."
Officials plan to use the site to post meeting times and minutes and an event calendar. Trustee Lynn Dumar said she hopes the site will have a feature that encourages taxpayers to ask questions of their elected officials. A newsletter published twice a year is the only village-sponsored information medium currently available.
"This will make people more aware of what's going on and open more doors," Mayor Kim Flander said.
Digitial Towpath powers several local municipalities' Web sites, including the town of Johnstown, village of Canjoharie and town of Mayfield.
Headquartered in Syracuse, Digital Towpath went live with its first 10 municipal Web sites in 2000. In 2005, participating municipalities signed the agreement that formed the Digital Towpath Cooperative.
The village is not required to join the cooperative, but if it does, it will have a say in software changes, cost and the level of training included in the annual fee. Digital Towpath's day-to-day operations are funded by annual fees.
Amanda Whistle covers Montgomery County. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.