OUR VIEW: $10K earned, $10K saved

The City of Grand Forks’ old website was a little stagnant and had very little visual appeal and the new site, which launched last week, is light years ahead.

The City of Grand Forks’ old website was a little stagnant and had very little visual appeal and the new site, which launched last week, is light years ahead.

Featuring a cleaner look and easier navigation, it certainly pops out at people that visit and that is refreshing, given that it could be hard to find things on the old home page.

It even has a place for city councillors to blog and that will be nice, especially if there is a controversial topic and people want to see what is on the respective councillors’ minds – deer cull anyone?

Castlegar’s Pro-Creative Design Lab was the successful web-designing proponent that was announced back in March and at the time, the city said that the amount it had budgeted was for about $10,000.

While it is important to have a user-friendly presence on the Internet in this day and age maybe the $10,000-something the city spent could’ve been better utilized.

While it will ultimately be dependent on a referendum during the upcoming civic election, the city will likely have to borrow money to upgrade infrastructure in Grand Forks.

Amongst the possibilities, $1.3 million for emergency water supply for fire protection and $4.2 million for road, water and sewer capital projects.

The infrastructure repairs won’t come cheap and Mayor Brian Taylor recently had a meeting in Victoria with Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Ida Chong regarding financial assistance from the Province of B.C. for the infrastructure improvements and the mayor said Chong seemed hesitant to commit money given the current economic conditions.

Given the amount of money that the city might have to borrow, is it really time for a new website?

Compared to what will need to be spent on infrastructure improvements, $10,000 might not seem like a lot of money but it is sizable and while the city’s old web page was bland, a little harder to navigate, with less bells and whistles, it still was functional and served its purpose.

Nowadays, an online presence is key but given that the city may have to spend a lot to repair various infrastructure across Grand Forks, the $10,000-ish spent on a new website isn’t necessary.

A penny earned is a penny saved and likewise, $10,000 earned is $10,000 saved.

– Grand Forks Gazette