October 23, 2003
Dutchess County Launches New Innovative Web Site
Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County
Executive William R. Steinhaus announced today the launching of Dutchess
County Online (www.dutchessny.gov), the redesigned and greatly expanded
official web site of Dutchess County Government. The new site not only
focuses on County Government services, but is also designed as a “portal” to
other web sites of interest to the public, including local Municipalities,
Businesses, Schools, Community, Tourism/Recreation, Elected Officials, and
In announcing the new web site, the County Executive stated, “I’m excited
about Dutchess County Online and its importance to the County and our
residents. This is a huge step forward for us - as it will be an integral
part of our effort to improve and expand Internet-based services to our
citizens, businesses and local governments.” Mr. Steinhaus added, “This
effort is particularly satisfying because it was designed and developed
entirely by County Staff.” The web site design and development was done by
our Office of Computer Information Services (OCIS) with assistance from our
Dutchess County Online has more than 1500 pages of useful services and many
innovative features such as GEOACCESS, the web site’s new Interactive mapping
facility. Below is an overview of some of the enhancements that the County
has made to its web site.
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New Look and Feel – The Public will immediately notice that the web site has
been redesigned from the ground up. One of the County’s goals was to “warm
up” and enhance the site to better reflect the beauty of our area and its
many facets. Some of the changes include a new color scheme, easier site
navigation, consistent layout throughout the site, and more photos, including
those of department heads, so that residents can associate a face with the
agencies that are providing services to them.
Reorganization by Area and Service - The web site’s reorganization is one of
the most important changes. The new site is reorganized by Service Area
rather than only by County Department. This will make it easier for the
public to locate County services.
A Start to eGovernment Services – The County has begun its focus on providing
online services to the public. This goes well beyond just including
“information” about County departments on the web site. As a start, the web
site includes automated bidding functions, recruitment/exams, and lots of
County forms as well as links to web sites containing State and Federal
forms. The forms can be filled out when it’s convenient for people rather
than them having to drive to County offices during their busy day. The County
has more eGovernment services planned; currently under development is a
County Parks Reservation System that will be available early in 2004.
More Departments Online - In an effort to provide a better understanding of
the County’s services and missions, all County departments are now
represented on the web site. In 2004, work will begin to expand online
services for departments that directly service the public.
Keeping Residents better informed - It’s important for Government to keep
citizens informed. One of our primary goals for the web site is do just that.
The County has taken its schedules of events and news releases from various
departments and combined them into one area for easy access.
Promoting County Tourism - Dutchess County has an abundance of places to go
and sites to see. Now you can find them at the touch of a button. A focus of
the web site is to promote our historic sites, museums, cultural arts and
recreational facilities. There is an entire section devoted to
Tourism/Recreation as well as a Photo Gallery that highlights area
attractions and our communities. Of course there are links to the Dutchess
Tourism web site that provides details about a broad range of Tourist
GEOACCESS a unique map-based service was developed by the Office of Computer
Information Systems as an integral part of the new County Web Site. This
service can be used to locate an array of sites, physical features and
boundaries throughout the County, such as government offices, school
districts, political boundaries, libraries, hospitals, “Senior Friendship
Centers,” nursing homes, historic sites and museums, recreation areas, and
much more. After identifying a location, the map displays a related web site
or web page that gives the visitor further information. GEOACCESS allows the
user to view any combination of site categories and physical features at the
same time by opening or closing map “layers” at will. So it’s a great tool
for research. What makes GEOACCESS so unique is that this map-based service
is integrated throughout the entire web site, rather than having a separate,
standalone mapping facility. Whenever the map button on a web page is
displayed, it can be clicked to locate that physical site or a group of
related sites on an interactive County Map.
“The new Web Site is a big part of the direction of our future; it
illustrates the County’s commitment to eGovernment. What you see on our web
site is just a start to our move to eGovernment. Our ultimate goal is to
provide a broad range of on-line services, 24 hours a day, regardless if our
offices are open or closed,” concluded Steinhaus.
For more information about the County Web Site contact the Commissioner at
the Dutchess County Office of Computer Information Services (OCIS) at
486-2450, Monday — Friday, 9:00 am — 5:00 pm.
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