Visitors to the village of Libertyville's website soon will have an easier time browsing, with access to more information and new ways to interact with local government.
Village staff continues to fine-tune upgrades to the website design, the first in about four years, with an improved version scheduled to debut Jan. 20.
"The website will be easier to use," said village Trustee Jim Moran, who chairs the village board's special projects and buildings committee. "From a marketing standpoint, the old site had gotten stale."
Besides having a refreshed look, the updated site will allow residents to request service online, such as replacing a burned out streetlight. Those who submit requests will be able to track progress and receive an email when the work is complete.
"Eventually, if you have an iPhone, you'll be able to do that from your phone," said Kelly Amidei, assistant village administrator, who has been working on the website upgrade.
Another big change is that those who want to learn more about what the village board or various commissions are discussing at meetings will have more information to ponder.
"You can see more than the village board agendas -- you'll be able to see a lot of the supporting documents," said Moran, who during the campaign last April said it should be easier for residents to learn what's happening in village government.
Those who want to attend meetings in person also will have access to those attachments.
"We also will have Wi-Fi available in our board room. That's a big deal for us," Amidei added.
Libertyville also is increasing its online presence by stepping up its Facebook capability, which has been available but not publicized to a great extent.
Those who 'friend' the village will receive news snippets via Facebook, although the village is not yet accepting submitted information.
"When we had the big snowstorm last year, we were putting information on our website but we weren't sure people were getting it," Amidei said.
There also are plans to provide a more interactive experience for web browsers.
Audio of village board meetings have been available since last summer but gets relatively view hits per month.
Video recording the meetings has been tested, and future plans could include posting videos of meetings linked to agenda items that can be searched.
"We don't need an Emmy award winning broadcast at the meeting but having something is better than nothing," Moran said.