Iowa City Steps Up Web Strategy

After several years of taking part in a regional World Wide Web initiative, Iowa City, Iowa, this week will debut its own Web site.

The new site,, initially will contain only a smattering of information on city councils, city departments and job opportunities, but a greater volume of information and new features will go online as the year progresses, said city Webmaster Kent Bliven.

Eventually, the city hopes to accept permit applications and payments for parking tickets and utility bills online and even to survey its citizens on issues.

Iowa City established a presence on the Web four years ago — earlier than many other towns — by contracting with a company called Jeonet to set up and maintain a site for itself, along with a number of other towns in the region.

But city officials see the Web site becoming an increasingly important channel for communicating with its citizens and businesses. As they started talking about potential applications, especially financial transactions, "we decided those need to be done in house," said finance director Kevin O'Malley.

By bringing the Web site in-house, the city also can tie the server to internal servers and information, making it much easier to post information as soon as it becomes available, Bliven said.

As the new Web site develops, the city believes it will reduce the amount of calls to city hall by providing frequently requested information. Such applications as online surveys and online complaints will give city residents a way to have a voice in government "instead of people coming down to a microphone at [city council] meetings every other Tuesday," said O'Malley.

The Web provides a way to make the city council meetings themselves more accessible, Bliven said. Bliven will begin posting agenda meetings online in the next several weeks and then expand to meeting minutes and, possibly by the end of the year, scanned archives of meeting minutes and other documents, he said.

Bliven developed the Web site using Microsoft Corp.'s FrontPage 98 software and runs it on a Windows NT server with a high-speed T-1 connection.


  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.