Calling the Town’s previous economic development web page outdated Monday night, Town Manager Kevin Smith noted the site required constant updating and was staffed by a third party vendor.
“To that end we were paying a quarterly fee to the vendor to keep that site up and running, so recently (contractor) Stu Arnett and John Vogl took on the project of revamping the site, and it’s all done in-house,” Smith said. “There’s no fees to keep it up and running, and I think it’s a lot more functional than the site was, and it also doesn’t require weekly updating.”
Arnett, of Arnett Development Group, said the most important thing for “site planners” is data.
“Our goal with the new site is to have it be efficient not only now but also for later,” he said. “The former style of the site was past its time and had things that were clearly obsolete.”
Arnett said he was contracted by the town at $3,500 to redesign the website, and Vogl noted the cost of the older site was tens of thousands of dollars to develop.
“We’ve done all the time sensitive things, which was the responsibility of somebody else, so this will stay fresh by itself,” Arnett said.
“For economic development web sites, you are really trying to do only one thing very well, and that is to give people that are on that site good data,” Arnett added.
The site is a work in progress, and can be seen at the Town website at londonderrynh.org.
People visiting the site usually are site planners, tax attorneys, and commercial brokers, he said, adding, “This is a very small population and they don’t want fluff.”
Council Chairman Tom Dolan asked how the site would be found on Google.
Arnett said visitors would write in “Londonderry Economic Development” to locate the site. He added that the
“Living In Londonderry” link would call up the community amenities for people looking for a place to live. “Where’s the hook?” Councilor John Farrell asked. He said Londonderry has a great story to tell but the story was nowhere on the site.
“If I open the front page and I want to know what’s going on in Londonderry, I went through every link and I couldn’t tie together Woodmont and Pettengill,” Farrell said.
“Did anyone ask John Verani what he thought of this? Verani is the largest commercial real estate broker in the state and he’s right here in Londonderry,” Farrell said.
Dolan said that what was needed was something that distinguished Londonderry from other communities.
Councilor Tom Freda said there should be some incentives for businesses to want to come to Londonderry.
“I’ve been on the Planning Board for six years and it always boggled my mind that someone who wants to subdivide their house is on the same list as FedEx,” he said. “I’m splitting a house and not going to do anything as far as tax assessment changing, and there’s this company that’s going to bring in a $60 million business. We should have a process on the planning board where these projects are fast-tracked..
“It would be my suggestion to put embedded videos on the site where we’ve got video of Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) talking about the town and we recently had Governor (Maggie) Hassan here and have videos of these leaders talking about or town,” Dolan said.
In other business Monday night:
• Melanson Heath president Frank Biron gave an update on the FY 13 audit and said the bottom line in the financial statement is that the tax receivable balance is consistant to where it has been in the past, The debt balances are lower than many communities of similar size, he added, and noted the General Fund balance has been consistant in the 5 percent to 7 percent that the town policy requires, with positive operating results in both the General Fund and Sewer Fund.
• Smith noted Maintenance Trust Fund Expenditures of $2,268.98 for insulation and a vapor barrier at the Lions Club floor at a cost of $2,165; winter maintenance at the Town Hall, Police Station, Leach Library, and Cable Access Center for $890; and general maintenance of the Public Works Garage bay doors at $103.98.