Editor’s note: this article has been updated with further information about the total amount South Orange has paid to MetaRhythm for website design.
South Orange Township will issue an RFP (Request for Proposals) to seek a new company to redesign and rebuild its municipal website.
“We are no longer developing the new website [and] we requested an RFP to get another company in to redesign the website,” said Howard Levison in a brief discussion at Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting. Levison chairs the Finance & Information Technology Committee.
Trustee Mark Rosner, who also serves on the finance committee, said committee members would work with members of the Public Information and Marketing Committee (PILC) to “get this done so we have a clear direction on how we’re going to move forward.”
The new website has been in the works for more than two years, since the town awarded a contract to MetaRhythm to completely redesign the site in October of 2012. In October of 2014, Township Administrator Barry Lewis said the site would launch within two months.
“We are putting out an RFP soon,” Torpey confirmed in a phone interview Thursday. Torpey said he would meet with trustee Stephen Schnall, of the PILC committee, to finalize the request and work out “more information about what we plan to do” in terms of goals, technical specifications and more.
According to an interview with Lewis in October, the town had paid MetaRhythm $16,800, the full amount of the contract.
Torpey said on Thursday he believed the town had paid less than that and he would confirm the correct amount.
Lewis clarified Thursday night that the total amount the township paid was less than that. “Based on our new course of action, we will end our contract with Metarhythm having paid them a total of $11,250 with no further payments due,” said Lewis.
The Village President said the town was now turning its focus to ensure that content on the current website is up to date. “When we were working on developing the new website, we said ‘let’s not put a tremendous amount of time into that.’ Now that we know it’s [going] to take a little longer, we can use our energy updating pages so nothing is grossly out of date.”
He asked that residents let town officials know about any pages that need updating.
At the meeting, Rosner said the town would formally assign employees, perhaps department heads, to update old information. “We have to bring that back up to date,” he said. “Several of the pages are more than behind.”
Torpey said officials would release more detailed information soon on specifics of the request for proposals and what the town is looking for in a new website design. The Village Green will follow up on this story.