New Grosse Pointe City website to be built this year

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published April 9, 2019

GROSSE POINTE CITY — It might seem like it fell off the radar of Grosse Pointe City officials in the wake of last year’s scramble to come up with alternatives and designs for new Department of Public Works and Municipal Court facilities, but a new City website is still very much in play.

Recognizing that the City’s website is in need of a more user-friendly format that can be more easily updated by officials, the City is moving forward to build a new site this year. During a meeting March 18, the City Council voted unanimously in favor of an agreement with Troy-based Revize to build new websites for the City and its Downtown Development Authority at a total cost of $24,700.

In addition, the City and the DDA will have a total annual cost of $4,900 from Revize to host, maintain and update service. City Manager Pete Dame said Revize told officials that the DDA portion accounts for roughly a third of the cost of this project, or $8,200. That means that the City’s portion of the cost is below the $25,000 that had been budgeted, Dame said.

He said that once the new website is completed and operational, the City wouldn’t be renewing a request and email system from WebQA because that function will be handled by Revize, so that should result in some savings that would offset the City’s cost.

City Councilwoman Sheila Tomkowiak said the hosting fee is “not onerous” and the project itself is “well under budget,” while still providing the City with everything officials were seeking.

“Revize is a national company, but it’s based locally,” she said.

Dame said Revize is responsible for more than 200 websites in Michigan alone and offers all the functions that the City and DDA wanted, including online park reservations, email newsletter distribution, online bill payments, online job applications, a business directory listing, online service requests and more.

Tomkowiak said Revize’s content management system “was one of the best ones I’ve ever seen. I feel really confident it’s going to make the website easy to update.”

Dame said the City received six proposals from website developers, and he and Tomkowiak reviewed those. He praised Tomkowiak’s careful study of the pros and cons of each applicant, saying she did “an extremely thorough job going through all of the proposals.”

In addition, Dame said City officials reviewed the top three applicants with the DDA.

“The DDA did also concur with this vendor,” Dame said of Revize.

He added that the Birmingham DDA recently used the same company for its website.

After the meeting, Tomkowiak said they hope to start work on the new website soon. Although an exact timeline wasn’t known at press time, Dame said they estimate they’ll have the new site up and running within the next six months.

The City’s current website was last overhauled about 12 years ago.