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January 26, 2014

Tech revamp part of county progress

MILLEDGEVILLE —

Recent events, such as the Baldwin County water emergency, led county commissioners to evaluate the government's internet presence for information dissemination. 

“I felt like we didn't have a system in place to really notify people as well as we should have,” commission chair Sammy Hall, District 3, said during Tuesday’s work session. “I want to know what's available for us.”

Hall said if a “conserve water” message got out to the public faster maybe the situation would have improved at the same rate.

County Finance Director Dawn Hudson asked elected officials to point staff in the proper direction.

“A lot of the increase in technology will also involve increase in cost. These are issues we did not discuss during the budget process, so I can tell you right now, there is not additional money for it,” Hudson said.

County Information Systems Manager Cindy Bush brought the board up to date with possible website and social media reach.

Georgia College's Multimedia and Technology Center handles county website maintenance. The college built the site in 2003.

Bush said the school doesn't regularly bill for services.

“There's not a set monthly amount,” she said.

Hudson said “we probably haven't paid them in a couple of years.”

“This has been a fit for them too because they use their graduate students to help upgrade the site,” Hudson said. “We are in the process of doing a large upgrade, which went live before everything was ready. When we do a major upgrade, they do charge us. They'll do a proposal in advance so we will know what it is.”

The finance director said the latest site improvement allows for better messaging posts. After the change, Bush said staff would have more control of the county website.

Bush said only six updates about the “Boil Water Notice” and water shortages went on the county's website in eight days.

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