MANKATO — Blue Earth County’s redesigned website is, for now, more form than function.
“The big part right now is the enhanced design,” said Jessica Beyer, communications manager and business analyst with the county.
But they’ll be adding more functions, such as online forms.
The design changes include big, noticeable buttons for navigation, and an A to Z service directory. It’s easier, in other words, to find information that was there before.
There’s new information, too, such as a staff directory, searchable by name, with phone numbers and email addresses. The old site had a directory, but it was removed several years ago.
Another addition of public data are the packets of information about meetings of the County Board and other committees. County Board packets have been online for more than a year, but only one at a time. Old packets still won’t be in the archive, but new ones will remain on the site going forward.
This might not seem like a big deal, but it’s the best way to keep track of county business, short of actually going to the meetings. These packets are filled with information about the county, from the bills that it pays, to how much money new hires make, to upcoming rural businesses.
The site lets you subscribe to emails notifying you when the packets you’re looking for are updated.
The new site also has its own mobile application, meaning it has a different, customized look when it appears on mobile devices.
You can pay taxes online, though you could already do that with the old system. Using a credit card still adds a fee equal to 2.49 percent of the amount paid, though.
Job-seekers can click on also fill out a “job interest card” that will give them email updates when jobs they’re interested in open up.
Finally, an improved jail roster is coming in about a month or so. That’s not really related to this upgrade, though, because the county contracts with a separate company for the roster service.
The website has a new address, www.blueearthcountymn.gov, though the old one still works.
The Blue Earth County library website also has a new look. Beyer said the calendar now lists events at all three of the county’s libraries. The library’s online catalog is unchanged.
The redesign cost the county $58,732.