by Andrew Martin
Residents of Cambridge looking for more communication with their town government now have another option. Work to complete the town website has been completed and the site was launched earlier in 2012. Anyone interested in keeping up to date with town news and meetings can now do so by visiting one of the two addresses for the site at http://www.townofcambridgevt.org/ or at http://cambridge.vt.gov/.
The work to build the Cambridge town website began in 2011 as a part of the E-Vermont Community Broadband Project. Cambridge received a grant from that project in 2010 and one of the final projects that the grant funds were used for was the creation of the website. According to the official website policy adopted by the Selectboard in the spring of 2011 the purpose of the town site “… is to provide another source of information about the Town’s governmental services.”
The town website was built by volunteers Dick Goff and Dennis Shanley with the advice of an outside consultant using a template that has been created to host town websites. Among the costs that were incurred in building the site was a fee to pay for the naming of the site, as well as an annual fee the town must pay for the hosting of the site.
Right now a great deal of information is available on the site with more to be added in the coming months. One of the major aspects of the site is a great deal of emergency information, including the various local emergency response units or organizations, how to contact them, and in some cases the members of that group. Other information on the site includes the makeup of the various town boards, committees, and who is holding various elected town positions. The town selectboard has also begun posting the agendas and minutes of each of their meetings on the site and other boards will likely be following suit.
The website also features links to several town organizations, such as the Varnum Memorial Library, Cambridge Elementary School, and the recreation committee. A sidebar on the right hand side of the site also lists upcoming community and municipal events.
Dick Goff, who continues to help maintain the web site, has also been working to inform town employees and organizations on how to better use it and post information to their different pages online. Another aspect that Goff would like to see added to the site is the ability for certain departments or emergency response groups to be able to post weekly announcements. He feels that informational updates on state construction projects or local emergencies on the site would be another way to keep locals informed of what is going on in the town.