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Updated Coffee County website now available

Posted on Saturday, January 27, 2018 at 9:00 am

Elena Cawley, staff writer

Coffee County Mayor Gary Cordell has worked with CivicPlus, the company tasked with designing the website, for several months.

County residents can now make various payments and search for county documents and information, while learning about the community, through the new website of Coffee County.

County officials recently launched the new website, which has been updated. It will be more user-friendly and offer visitors useful and current information.

It will also highlight the beautiful scenery of the area as well as local businesses, organizations, services and events.

Make payments online

The payment process will be faster and more efficient, as well.

Locals can now pay property taxes, ambulance bills, traffic citations and fees for vehicle tag renewals online.

Coffee County Mayor Gary Cordell has worked with CivicPlus, the company tasked with designing the website, for several months.

“The new website will offer the citizens of Coffee County, as well as visitors, a fresh look at the services provided by the Coffee County government,” Cordell said.

The website will also help visitors find things to do in the area, highlighting businesses, services, museums, tourism destinations and community events.

“In addition to basic departmental information, the new website will provide a “How Do I” section to inform users how to do many things, such as make online payments, report concerns, dispose of recyclables and garbage,” Cordell said.

Resident can report concerns related to road problems, crime concerns, and fraud, waste and abuse.

“Website users will be able to subscribe to receive updates and information about community news and happenings via email,” Cordell said.

Cordell said updating the website was much needed.

“The old website had become stagnant having been developed in 2008, without any significant improvements since then,” Cordell said. “We were dependent on the website provider to make every change for us. We were limited by our maintenance agreement on how many changes could be made each month.”

Now, information can be updated much easier and faster, with people of each department being able to edit it and add current information.

“Our new website provider trained us on their website editing tool, so we can make changes to our website ourselves without limitation, which, hopefully, will give us a more dynamic website,” Cordell said.

Though already a great improvement over the old website, Cordell said more information and tools will probably be added in the future.

“We consider the website that is being launched to be a baseline,” Cordell said. “We hope to evolve our website into the most useful, informative website in the area.”

CivicPlus, located in Manhattan, Kansas, developed the website. The company was awarded the job of designing and developing the website in May, after county officials evaluated six proposals.

CivicPlus designs websites for local governments throughout the United States and Canada.

“The total cost of designing the new website, migrating information from the old website, training us to use the editing tool, hosting our new website on the CivicPlus webservers, and support contract was $14,985,” Cordell said.

Coffee County was awarded a $5,000 USDA Rural Business Development Grant to be used toward the total cost, according to Cordell.

Beginning in the second year of the agreement, the annual hosting and maintenance will cost about $3,700 per year.

“At the end of the fourth year, we will receive a basic website redesign at no additional cost to keep our website fresh and up-to-date,” Cordell said.

Visitors to the website can find useful information and learn about the local community.

“Included on the new website is a brand new video tourbook,” Cordell said. “Coffee County partnered with CGI Communications to create a series of professionally produced videos to highlight the amenities of Coffee County.”

There are videos on the following topics: education, healthy living, real estate, economic development, community organizations and things to do.

“These videos were produced at no cost to Coffee County,” Cordell said.

To see the new website, go to