October 15, 2013 Emergency Meeting
Town of Halifax Vermont
Broadband Committee
Emergency Meeting- Draft
October 15, 2013

The emergency meeting of the Halifax Broadband Committee was called to order at 5:30pm at the town office. The emergency meeting was called as three members of the Broadband Committee we present at the community forum to discuss town website redevelopment. Broadband Committee members in attendance were Jessica Bruno, Gretchen Becker, and Earl Holtz. Others present were Tess Gauthier from the Snelling Center for Government, (and Margo Avakian at 6:20pm).

The town has received a grant as part of the VT Digital Economy Project to upgrade and re-develop their town website. It was also noted that the Front Porch Forum is launching in every town that doesn’t have the forum. Halifax and Whitingham areas are combined. We need 100 people to sign up to activate the forum in our area.

Development of the new town website:

The new site will be equipped with emergency response tools. It will also be a mobile and responsive site and compatible with all browsers.

Topics Discussed:
What draws people to live in Halifax
-It’s less expensive than some surrounding areas
-Convenience to larger areas
– Greenfield, Brattleboro, Bennington etc
-Rural Character
-It’s a draw for 2nd homeowners for it’s proximity to ski areas
-Strong sense of community

Organizations in Halifax:
K-8 School
Fire Department
Historical Society
Community Club
Winery and B&B’s

Recreational Activities (in or near Halifax):
Gorge (on private property)
Mount Snow
Molly Stark Park
Lake Harriman
Marlboro Music Festival/ Marlboro College
XC Skiing

Old Home Days- every 10 years
Fireman’s Clam Bake
Community Suppers (by Community Club/ Historical Society)

The group discussed having a way to get an alert when changes or updates are made to the site.

Gauthier will check on the newsletter that sends updates/alerts.

Gauthier asked the group to provide photos of the area for use on the home page. Bruno will forward her email address to the group.

Gauthier showed how the emergency banner on the site can be activated so that a scrolling message appears at the top of the home page.

What techniques work best to get the word out:
-Word of Mouth
-Yahoo Group
-Town Clerk

Other websites to look at for design ideas:
City of Lakewood, Montevideo, and Bennington

The group reviewed the analytics of the current site and were surprised to find the most unique visitors overwhelmingly come from Burlington VT. The number of visitors from Halifax is ranked pretty far down on the list. The pages most frequently visited are the home page and the meeting minutes.

Bruno and Gauthier have a call on Thursday to finalize some of the design and go over the design of the new template.

The meeting adjourned at 6:30pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jessica Bruno