Ulster County Launches “Participate Ulster” Website and Community Survey for Future County Website

Posted August 8, 2023

KINGSTON, NY - Ulster County has launched “Participate Ulster,” a platform to share input on County projects and initiatives. The “Participate Ulster” website serves as a two-way communications tool for Ulster County residents to learn more about County projects and provide feedback to the people working on them. “Participate Ulster” is part of a major website redesign project taking place over the next 18 months, with the launch of the new website expected in early 2025. The County seeks public input on the website redesign and encourages residents to take a community survey and learn more about the project at https://participate.ulstercountyny.gov/


With webpages for dozens of County departments and many more micro-sites and related pages, the current County website can be a frustrating experience for residents trying to find the information they need. A newly redesigned County website will improve organization of content on the site, make it easier to navigate and engage with, and will help to expand participation in the broad array of services available from Ulster County. “Participate Ulster” and other two-way communications tools align with County Executive Metzger's efforts to promote public engagement in the County's work. 


“In the modern age, an engaging, easy-to-use website is essential to good governance, and will help us better serve public needs, hear from residents on issues of concern to them, and improve the flow of information," said Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger. "The County's website has long been clunky and difficult to use, and I am excited about the project underway to refresh the website and take advantage of new technological and design features that will greatly improve the user experience." 


“In an initiative that is long overdue, we plan to create a welcoming and accessible website experience, featuring modern search tools and prominently featured services-oriented constituent needs, interests, and engagement capabilities,” said Director of Information Services Alan Macaluso. “We have an amazing, enthusiastic internal project team that includes members of the Information Services Department, Chief Diversity Officer Esi Lewis, and Communications staff from the County Executive’s Office, as well as a highly-qualified set of partners from Granicus, the consultant working with the County on the website redesign.”  


As part of the website redesign process, the project team has released a community survey for residents to share what they want and need in a redesigned website as well as their views on what works well and doesn't work well on the current website.


To access the community survey and provide input for a new Ulster County website, visit the project page on the “Participate Ulster” website at: https://participate.ulstercountyny.gov/county-website/


The survey can be accessed directly at: https://participate.ulstercountyny.gov/county-website/survey_tools/community-survey1.


To sign-up for a future County Executive Newsletter to receive updates on the website redesign project and other Ulster County projects and initiatives, visit: https://participate.ulstercountyny.gov/.


In June of 2022, Ulster County released a Request For Proposals (RFP) for vendors to assist the County with redesigning its municipal website. The deadline for RFP responses was July 29, 2022, and an RFP review committee made up of County employees reviewed responses between August and October of 2022. The review committee selected Granicus, an industry-leading web development company that provides web services to over 6,000 government entities around the globe, including dozens of New York State agencies and municipalities across the state. Between October 2022 and March 2023, the County negotiated a contract that was approved by the County Legislature in March 2023. The County website redesign project began in April of this year, and is expected to take 18-24 months, with a target launch in spring of 2025. 




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