Ridgeland launches new website
Residents not only in Ridgeland but around the county, state and even outside the country can find out all they need to know about the town through its new website, Town Administrator Dennis Averkin said.
“We realized that the previous website was cumbersome and outdated and it was designed over 20 years ago,” Averkin said. “Our stated goal was to create a website that connected all of the town’s services into one centralized hub or one stop shop, whether it be establishing trash service, obtaining a building permit, establishing a business or a wide range of other options.”
Averkin said another goal was to advertise the town by stating who it is and what makes it special. In April 2017, the town looked at its options and decided upon a firm that designed many government and commercial websites, including those for Moss Creek, Town of Bluffton and Beaufort County Treasurer.
“We negotiated a fee of $4,250 for the design of the website, which was paid from the local tourism fund,” Averkin said. “This meant the town had to add some new content, and I hope to have things completely finished by the end of February.”
The town still utilizes the same domain name, www.ridgelandsc.gov.
Some of the new features allow visitors to the new site a chance to pay traffic tickets online and lets them find the town’s parks and town offices on Google Maps. It also allows users to access the town’s new building permit software to submit plans and schedule inspections.
Citizens can pay their water bills online, and the town will no longer be taking credit card payments over the phone for water and sewer bills, it must be done online, Averkin said. Toward the end of February, citizens should also be able to access all of the town’s ordinances online.
“In addition, visitors can access all of the town’s financial reports, download all required forms (business license, local tourism tax, permit applications, etc.), town council videos, obtain all information related to starting water/sewer service, current events, zoning maps, economic development resources, public information bulletins, download new business guides, new resident guides, obtain answers to frequently asked questions,” Averkin said.
“It also allows users to quickly connect with the person or persons that can respond to their needs — without having to endlessly navigate a conflicting maze of webpages.”
Averkin added the new website also uses SSL technology, so it’s very safe and secure. He said additionally, this website will automatically configure to a smartphone-friendly site — something the old website couldn’t do.
Since implementing the new website, Averkin said web traffic increased from 60 visits per day to 260 to 300 visits per day. He said the site has already had visitors from all 50 states; the majority of the visits are from Ridgeland and Hilton Head Island.
Two returning members of the Ridgeland Town Council (Tommy Rhodes and Josephine Boyles) were sworn into office on Jan. 4 during the town’s meeting. Rhodes is mayor Pro-Tem.
As a part of the construction of the new addition to the fire station, council approved a $120,132 contract with Andrews Fabricators, out of Kingstree, for a metal building.
“This company is an agent for Nucor Building Systems,” Town Administrator Dennis Averkin said. “This includes the roof, building and insulation. Doors, windows and brick façade will also be bid out separately.”