Richland Township's new online presence offers visitors modern look, easy access to variety of municipal services
By Deborah Deasy
Published: Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Richland Township has a new online look.
“I think it's real user friendly,” said Annette Robinson, president of Orchard Park Neighborhood Association, about Richland's redesigned website.
The site — introduced July 23 — features a green and khaki color scheme with photos, an events calendar, search box, and places to download permit applications, meeting agendas and any chapter of the township's code.
The site also accepts online payments for items such as sewer bills and leaf bags.
Computers Made Easy of Westmoreland County performed the site's facelift.
Scot and Jane Noel of Hempfield Township — co-owners of Computers Made Easy — both worked as project managers for former DreamForge Intertainment, a computer game developer, before they became full-time, self-employed website developers.
The couple create, host and manage websites for businesses, nonprofit groups and local governments.
“We serve about 200 customers,” said Scot Noel, 56, a St. Vincent College graduate with a bachelor's degree in English.
Jane Noel, 52, is an Art Institute of Pittsburgh graduate with a background in graphic design.
“We do try to have a nice, clean graphic design, one that speaks to the intended audience,” Scot Noel said about the couple's online, artistic style.
Richland Township's new website is the 11th online site launched this year by the Noels. Others include online sites for the Edgewood Police and Churchill Borough.
“We're really interested in helping our customers succeed,” said Scot Noel. “If they're not getting the traffic they want, we're going to be worried about that, and waking up at 2 a.m. with ideas, and trying to figure out, ‘How do we solve this?' We've made a lot of friends that way.”
In April, Richland supervisors accepted a bid from Computers Made Easy to redesign and maintain Richland Township's website at a cost of $2,800 to $3,600.
“The folks at Computers Made Easy are very accessible,” said Dean Bastianini, township manager.
“They're a small, family-owned business, so I think clients like us are important to them, and they'll help us.”
Richland Township administrative assistant Colby Howe helped the Noels reincarnate Richland's online presence.
“Richland Township was very easy to work with,” said Scot Noel.
Tim Gaichas, chairman of the Richland Township Planning Commission, voluntarily and previously maintained Richland's former website.
Gaichas also is executive vice president of pair Networks, an international web hosting firm.
“We leaned on him all these years ... We thought it was time to cut our apron strings,” Bastianini said. “We're really indebted to him. We're really grateful for what he did all these years.”
Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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