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North Hills

Ross Township's revamped website launches

Tony LaRussa
| Thursday, March 8, 2018, 3:45 p.m.
Ross launched a new website for the municipality.
Ross launched a new website for the municipality.

After years of limping along with an outdated, cumbersome to use website, Ross has upgraded its online portal to the municipality.

The new website launched on Friday after nearly a year of development.

“I think that you will find it easier to navigate and, if you sign up for an account, you will be able to stay more connected with what is going on in Ross,” commission President Steve Korbel posted on social media when the website debuted on Friday.

He said the site will be easier for residents to communicate with town officials.

People will be able to “file complaints about anything from potholes to property maintenance issues and sign up for activities through our parks and rec department,” he said.

Last April, Ross commissioners awarded a contract to replace the township's website with one created by a company specializing in building user-friendly, interactive municipal sites.

The system created by Kansas-based CivicPlus integrates the township's social media pages and allows residents to receive notifications from various departments and select when and how they receive the information.

Additionally, the system includes an emergency notification system to alert residents to road closures, water line breaks, detours and other information.

A separate alert system will provide notifications on mobile devices to anyone in the Ross area if a serious public safety event occurs.

Before agreeing to the contract, officials surveyed several communities including Shaler, Cranberry and Mt. Lebanon, which use CivicPlus' websites and determined that they were happy with the product.

The board has acknowledged that by most standards, the system that was replaced was below par.

Among the key features of the new system, which cost about $61,000 for development and $23,300 a year in maintenance fees, is the ability for residents to easily file forms and communicate with the township online. The price includes training for township staff and regular updates for the system.

Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-772-6368 or tlarussa@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TonyLaRussaTrib.

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