MARINETTE — The longtime Marinette County government website (marinettecounty.com) is expected to be replaced sometime this month with a bright new, modern looking site that was unveiled last Tuesday to the County Board of Supervisors.

"Our current website has served us well for many years," said Information Services Director Kevin Solway. "But if you look at it, it is dated.

"We decided to pursue another website, we wanted to brand Marinette County. The county needs to have a brand or image and it needs to be consistent. So one of the things we decided to do was update our website so that it is more modern and consistent with today's website standards and easier to follow."

Solway said "we consulted with company called DMI Studios and this is what we came up with for our website."

"It's still under development somewhat, but it will be ready within the next week or two," he said. "So I wanted to show it to the county board first."

The county's current main website is light blue and white and cluttered with text. The new site that the board got a preview of will have bright photos and icon links across the top of it.

"It's a lot cleaner and there's a lot less clutter," Solway said. "We've got some quick links across the top that we can change if we want to.

"For example, when election time comes up, one of these (quick links) will say election because that's what's popular at the time. So as, throughout the year, these will be updated based on what's going on."

Solway said the there will be photos of scenes in the county in the background of the site that are going to rotate by the seasons.

"So you won't always see the same picture when you go to the site," he explained. "There's going to be three or four images that rotate."

Solway said the new site "is not so text heavy, it's more graphical."

In his presentation he showed the board where current news and events will be listed.

"Our events actually take us to a calendar," he said. "If you click on any of the links on the calendar, it pulls up whatever is attached to it.

"We're trying to brand Marinette County and make the website more modern and more user-friendly."

Solway said each county department is responsible for its own content.

"They maintain their own content, they keep it up to date," he said.

Solway said the new site, like the one it is replacing, will continue to have a webcam showing a view of the county.

"There is going to be an automatic link (from the new site) over to Facebook," he explained "Also, when we post items on our site such such as RFPs (requests for proposals) and things like that (announcements) they will automatically post to a Facebook site and a twitter account.

"That's what young people want. We want to attract young people and we want to keep businesses and this is one of the things that we're doing to help that."

Solway said one of the most important features of the new site is that it will be "mobile-device friendly."

"So if you look at it on a phone or an iPAD, you will no longer kind of have to move the screen around," he explained. "This will resize and shrink (the site) down to fit the device. It's all automatic.

"That's where we're going. I just wanted to show it to you before we have it out there for the general public."

Solway noted that the county's parks website also is in the process of being updated by DMI Studios. The county board voted later at Tuesday's meeting to appropriate $18,930 to have DMI create a new tourism website.

He said the tourism and parks websites would "look and act the same," as the county's main site.

Forestry and Parks Administrator Pete Villas said he expected the parks site to be completed by late winter or early spring.

In reply to a question from Board Chairman Mark Anderson, Solway said he could be provide information on what's show in the photos that are displayed on the site.

Supervisor Rick Polzin asked Solway "what is the brand image we're shooting for?" with the county's new main site.

The current site has a photo on top it with a stripe below it that says "Waterfalls Capital of Wisconsin."

"Overall, I think it's more of an outdoors type of thing, tourism is big up here, it's huge," Solway said. "We didn't identify the brand so much because we think that is more of a tourism thing.

"We want consistency across our sites. Thats' what we're looking for more than anything. We didn't approach it from that we want be the waterfalls capital or the snowmobile capital. We want people to think about the season stuff with the pictures."

"I think what you're saying with the brand is make Marinette County a destination and you're doing that from what I see here," Supervisor Don Pazynski said. "I applaud what you're doing, it looks good."

Pazynski asked if the tourism and parks sites would have directions to places in the county.

Solway said the parks site is going to have maps and directions and that there will be a listing of lodging places on the tourism site.

He said in reply to a question from Supervisor Thomas Mandli, that the new county site will have a list of towns, villages and cities and their officials and links to their websites, if they have one.