News release

Template for Municipal Website Launched

SERVICE N.S./MUNICIPAL RELATIONS--Template for Municipal Website Launched


Designing and developing a website has become a lot easier for towns and other municipalities in Nova Scotia. A template to deliver web-based information and services to their residents is now available to all municipal units.

"The template is a packaged, flexible approach to help municipalities build a functional, user-friendly website without investing a lot of time, money and resources," said Barry Barnet, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. "This project is about the sharing of knowledge without reinventing or re-investing in the wheel."

Stephen Feist, municipal advisor for Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, compares the website template with a car. "We provide all the parts . . . the engine, wheels, gear shifts, etcetera for a high-performance vehicle. The municipality can then design the interior and exterior by choosing their colours, style and design. Each municipal unit can have its own unique website but it will follow the same logical pattern for navigating through the website."

Municipal units such as the Town of Lunenburg are anxious to adopt this new municipal website template. "I think it's excellent," said Bea Renton, town clerk for the Town of Lunenburg. "The headings and pathways of the template are laid out in a very sensible manner. We will be incorporating the template into our website."

Debbie Kampen, chief administrative officer for the town of Trenton, shares Ms. Renton's enthusiasm. "It is an easier format," said Ms. Kampen. "The public can get information anytime; they are not tied to our business hours. It's a 24-7 option for them."

The website template is one of many initiatives of the Nova Scotia e-Government Provincial Municipal Joint Venture Group. The group includes representatives of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, several municipalities, the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities (UNSM) and the Association of Municipal Administrators (AMA). Formed three years ago, the joint venture group's goal is to work towards seamless e-government. From paying a parking ticket to lodging a complaint about the dog next door, it will all be done seamlessly and electronically.

"One of the first tasks of the joint venture group was to develop a website template that is functional and effective for all users such as citizens, businesses or councilors who live in the municipality," said Steve Feindel, director of e-Service for Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. "We started working with Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) to jointly define a design and structure that would allow website clients to access municipal and provincial services through the internet more effectively."

A lot of time and research went into developing an improved website for CBRM. "Based on the actual design of that website, we've created a template that could be used again and again for all municipal units," said Mr. Feindel. "All they have to do is plug in their information and change the colour schemes, photos and layout. Why bother re-inventing the wheel when we already have something that works well?"

"The website template is just part of a larger picture of e- government and all the things that Service Nova Scotia is doing jointly with the municipalities, the UNSM and the AMA," said Mr. Barnet. "This is the start of many things to come. Canada is a leader in e-government within the world and we, in Nova Scotia, are in the forefront for providing e-services and we want to continue to be in the forefront."

For a copy of the website template, see the Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations website at www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/muns/municipaltemplate/default.asp or call 902-424-5200 (metro Halifax) or toll-free 1-800-670-4357 for a CD copy of the website template.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Designing and developing a website has become a lot easier for towns and municipalities in Nova Scotia. A template to develop their own websites is now available to all municipal units.

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister Barry Barnet launched the website template today (April 8th). The template will help municipalities build functional, user- friendly websites without investing a lot of time, money and resources.

The website template is one of many initiatives of the Nova Scotia e-Government Provincial Municipal Joint Venture Group, a group that includes representatives of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, several municipalities, the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities and the Association of Municipal Administrators.

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Contact:

Deborah Bayer
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations 902-424-0112 E-mail:
Stephen Feist
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations 902-424-5537 E-mail: