Brookhaven Town unveiled a new website that will serve as the hub of communication and information for the town. The website address hasn’t changed, but it now features a much more modern look with some added features, making usage easier for residents.
Jack Krieger, public information officer for the town, said that the website is now ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant, so it will be accessible for everyone. He added that one of the top priorities for the project was to reach that compliance.
In addition to its modern look, it will be much easier for residents to not only find information, but complete tasks online, according to Matt Sabatello, the town’s webmaster. Information has been spread out and duplicated with a drill-down system, so it is more organized, but also can be found in more than one place. He added that there are a variety of ways that information can be found on the site.
Both officials said that the content on the website is largely unchanged, but rather has opened the door for much more to be done. Residents can access an online services section from the home page, which brings up everything a resident may want to do that used to require a phone call or visit to town hall, from the comfort of their home. Some services include inspection requests, safety reports and registering for programs. Residents can also apply for a marriage, birth or death certificate online.
“These are things that can be done at home, whether in their living room or at 3 in the morning,” Sabatello said.
He added that the traffic report is a new feature, which allows for residents to report issues, even abandoned cars and broken streetlights, online. Residents can also report a variety of more concerns using the new site.
Town supervisor Ed Romaine said that the improvements made to the website make the government as a whole more effective and efficient, both for elected officials and all of the departments. He added that it will help residents interact with the government in an easier way.
“This has a lot of features on it for the average person who’s just looking to get information on a variety of things,” Romaine said.
Another highlight for the website is the improved notification system, which allows for an “a la carte” approach. Residents can select different departments for which they would like to receive text or email alerts. There is also an emergency system built in for alerts in a time of need. For people who signed up for the previous system, information will automatically transfer for emergency notifications and the town will be sending an email about the new subscription model with instructions on how to sign up for specific categories.
The website has been under development for about a year, Krieger said, and the town received a grant that covered the cost of the upgrades. The meeting portal that holds all of the town meeting minutes, agendas, videos and resolutions is currently unchanged, but the IT team is working to upgrade that section of the website in the near future. Krieger added that the project went along smoothly due to the cooperation of the departments involved and the transition process that involved the entire town government.
Residents can start to explore the site, which has been live for about two weeks. There is a section titled, “How Do I…” which will direct people to different departments or agencies based on what a person may need.
“People should go to the website and experience it,” Krieger said.
Anyone with questions or comments on the new website is encouraged to call the town call center at 631-451-TOWN.