Landing page proposed for six city websites; artist chosen for Memorial Plaza sculpture

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, March 9, 2022

The Danville City Commission heard a proposal for a project with The Idea Farm to create a landing page for Danville websites at their meeting on Monday.

Emma Jackson, CEO of advertising and marketing agency The Idea Farm in Danville, made a presentation about the page. She said Danville has no central place on the web, no organization of essential resources, and no software to manage data and communicate with citizens.

Danville has six different websites from major city partners, in addition to key community organizations like Ephraim McDowell, Centre College, and the Arts Center of the Bluegrass.

“We are severely lacking when it comes to our online presence,” Jackson said. “As much as we’d like to think that doesnt matter, unfortunately we all know that is the first place people look when they are assessing our community and what we have to offer.”

The six websites are the City of Danville (danvilleky.org), EDP (developdanville.com), CVB (danvillekentucky.com), The Heart of Danville (downtowndanville.com), the Chamber of Commerce (danvilleboylechamber.com), and Parks and Recreation (danvilleboyleparks.com).

The landing page would connect all those websites in a central hub, while still providing the individual identities those organizations have. It would organize links to the websites in a way that both residents and visitors could easily find different information.

“Our community has so much to offer for a small community, but we need to be able to create those pathways online, so when people are going to a show at the Norton Center, they could see what else Danville has to offer,” Jackson explained.

The Idea Farm will also make a Citizen Relationship Management software (CRM) system, which is an online database that governments can use to store citizen information and documents.

It would allow the government to respond quickly and accurately to citizen requests, inquiries, and information about policies, practices, and procedures. It could also have a web chat for city employees to respond quickly to citizens.

City Manager Earl Coffey said citizens have been asking for a better, easier to use website for Danville.

“The city’s web page is very mechanical, we want you to do business with the city, it is not necessarily a recruiting tool or marketing tool,” Coffey said. “What we’d like to do is propose this as a project to work with partner organizations like the CVB and the Heart, now that they have directors in place.”

If approved, the landing page may be online by the end of 2022, and it has the possibility to combine different websites beyond that.

“This is what we’ve been looking for for a long time,” Commissioner Kevin Caudill said.

With assistance from the arts center, the city conducted a search for an artist to create a sculpture for Memorial Plaza in front of the fire station.

They shortlisted four artists, who then made design proposals. The city approved the choice of artist Guy Tedesco, who lives near Louisville and specializes in metal sculptures.

The sculpture will utilize a piece of steel from 9/11 that the city has. The project budget is  $19,000.

In other business, the city commission:

• Appointed Sarah Berry to the cemetery committee. She is also on the ethics board.

• Approved a project to evaluate and address water issues in the elevator shaft at the parking garage. The city has done extensive maintenance on the shaft over the years due to water infiltration.

• Approved the hiring of Ronnie Yates to assistant maintenance supervisor at Parks and Recreation.

• Approved the promotion of Daniel Grigsby to police detective.

• Authorized counsel to engage in settlement discussions with Core and Main regarding potential breach of contract issues surrounding a bid of pipe materials, short of filing legal action.

• Postponed Wednesday’s budget calendar meeting in deference to former Mayor Bernie Hunstad’s passing. The commission asked that people keep Hunstad’s family in their thoughts and prayers.

Commissioner Denise Terry said, “He spent his life serving this country and this community, and we just need to make sure we recognize that. I actually got to speak with him about a month ago, and he was not well but he was in good spirits. Thoughts and prayers for his family.”