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Spokane Valley gets a $60,000 virtual makeover

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(The Center Square) – Over the last year, the City of Spokane Valley has given its website a facelift, as well as a name change.

Previously redesigned in 2015, the city agreed to a $59,365.80 contract in November of 2022 to move forward with design of the new site.

“This is the culmination of about a year-long project. We started about a year ago putting out an RFQ, we received eight applications. We did several interviews and some demos, we narrowed it down to four, further narrowed it down to two, and we finally landed last fall with a company called Civic Plus,” said Lesli Brassfield, marketing and communications officer for the city, in Tuesday’s council meeting.

Civic Plus is a private company that focuses on web services for smaller cities and counties and is used by several cities in the Pacific Northwest, including Kennewick and Renton.

The project started a year ago and has had between eight and ten employees working on it at any given time. Once requirements were agreed on and the contract signed, the existing site was migrated and new content was added between March and June of 2023.

Another major change coming along with the redesign is a name change. The city’s website, which has been hosted at spokanevalley.org since 2009, will no longer reside there. That domain now redirects to spokanevalleywa.gov, effectively removing the old website from the internet.

“This brings us more in line with the types of domains that are used by municipalities. Also, it will tell our visitors that we are a government entity right off the top,” said Brassfield.

Brassfield went on to highlight the five sub-sites that have been redesigned along with the City’s new site, as well as their purpose and functionality. Those sub-sites are as follows;

The Permit Center – Allows for a “one stop” experience that provides permitting, building and land use/planning guidance and documents.CenterPlace Regional Event Center – Allows for marketing as an event and small conference venue.Economic Development – Provides in-depth business and industry data and demographics to support the selection of Spokane Valley for business recruitment and enhancement.Parks and Recreation – Allows the department to brand its programs and services, and provide one single point of entry where citizens can access information.Spokane Valley Police Department – Allows the department to brand its services, many of which are offered at the city precinct building and not well known to city residents.

Additionally, city elected officials and employee emails will be migrated to the new domain, though the old email addresses will continue to function for some time.

“It’s always very exciting to have a new website go up, and I know how much work goes into it. It’s always a huge organizational effort,” said Councilmember Laura Padden after a demonstration of the redesign.

The new site is fully ADA-compliant and accessible and is live at spokanevalleywa.gov as of Wednesday, June 21st.

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