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Grant County government unveils website

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | June 8, 2021 1:03 AM

EPHRATA — Grant County officials unveiled a new county website last week.

Tom Gaines, director of Grant County’s central services, said it’s still a work in progress.

“This is a start,” Gaines said. “We’ve got some fine-tuning to do.”

The website cost about $70,000, which includes development as well as hosting services for five years, Gaines said. Funding came through the CARES Act, a federal program designed to help state, county and municipal governments improve services during the COVID-19 outbreak, among other things. With the funding available, county officials decided to go ahead with a project that had been contemplated for a while.

“We figured it was time to update,” he said.

The work started in March 2020. The previous website was dated and more difficult for county residents to use, he said. In addition, government websites are required to be ADA-compliant, including being accessible to people with sight impairments.

“And we’ve never had that,” Gaines said.

People with impaired sight will be able to hover over a section of the website and receive verbal instructions and information.

Rather than requiring people to find the county department they need, the new website includes a “How do I” feature. That allows people to find county departments and offices and get their questions answered more quickly. All the information from the previous website is still there, but it may take a little bit more navigation to access it, he said.

Each county office and department will be able to update their own section of the website, Gaines said, whenever they choose.

“I think the public is going to be a lot happier with this website,” Gaines said. “A lot of people didn’t have a good way to interact with the county. And now they do.”

The county's website can be found at www.grantcountywa.gov.