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Dalton Fire District Works to Improve Website
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
05:29AM / Monday, April 01, 2024
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DALTON, Mass. — The Fire District is working on updating its website to improve community communication. 
The district is working with local branding, website design, and digital marketing agency Gemini Creative to update the current website to make it Americans with Disabilities Act compliant and user friendly. 
"We are light years ahead from where we need to be," Fire Chief Christian Tobin said during the Board of Water Commissioners meeting on Tuesday. 
Gemini Creative is located in Stockbridge and, according to its website, is currently working with the Dalton Recreation Association, Berkshire Housing, and Dovecote Homes. 
The website needs to be updated so that the district can upload and improve accessibility to meeting minutes, agendas, handbooks, and other documents for residents and staff, Tobin said. 
"We need an interactive website that's exciting, that draws people into the fire district," 
The district not only needs a platform for residents but also a website that helps with recruiting and retention. That way it can go out to local colleges and high schools, he said. 
The initial cost of the website's design is approximately $4,800. This may change depending on what the district wants to include in the design. According to a document from the agency there is a $200 an hour fee for work outside the scope. 
The Fire and Water Departments will be splitting the cost to kick off the project and have enough funds to cover it in this year's budgets. 
According to the agency's document, The yearly retainer for hosting, backup, and maintenance is projected at $600 a year. 
Gemini Creative will host the district's new website on its server and will be responsible for the website being available online. 
If anything goes wrong with the website, district employees can reach out to the agency to solve the issue. New versions of WordPress and any plugins will be installed when they become available. 
The website and database will be backed up every evening. 
The agency plans to design the website in April, develop it in May, and hopefully launch it sometime in July. 
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