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Viewpoint: New city website makes getting information easier

By Laura Blair, Red Wing Administrative Services Director. This is a monthly series of city of Red Wing Q&A. If you have an inquiry, call 651-385-3608 or connect via Facebook at www.facebook.com/CityofRedWingMinnesota.

Q: What is best way to learn about city government and all the things happening throughout the new year?

A: We're happy to report that your city of Red Wing government now has a new website to make finding city information easier and faster. We asked you, the public, what you wanted in a new website, and now the site is more visual, intuitive, and easier to navigate. Thank you for your ideas and feedback. Our goal is to provide a transparent tool that lets you to find details quickly, learn what's happening, and get involved with city government if you choose.

The new site, www.red-wing.org, has been active for a while, but if you're someone who hasn't checked the site before, or it's been a few months, I encourage you to go online and try it.

One of the most improved features is the "How can we help you?" box located directly in the middle of the home page. Just type what you're looking for in the box and you'll be directed to options that bring you to the right place.

The new "How Do I?" section in the upper-right corner is also a handy reference.

One favorite new feature is your ability to set up a personal account and get notifications emailed directly to you regarding emergencies, news, calendar events, and job postings.

The new site also allows you to do things more easily than before. Contact all City Council members and the mayor with one click. Report a problem or concern happening today, or wander through archived documents going back to 1907. Look at meeting agendas so you know the issues coming up, or watch any council, board, or commission meeting from today, last week, or five years ago.

The site is divided into sections with visuals and icons to steer you in the right direction. For example, the "Need To Know" section tells you the latest city news, while "City Spotlight" shares details on highlighted projects like the Red Wing 2040 Community Plan and the Red Wing Bridge Project.

The new mapping feature offers maps of snow emergency routes, local hunting areas, cemetery plots, and garbage pick-up days. You can also navigate to community resources, see the city government calendar, keep up with city budget planning, and much more.

I hope you'll take a few minutes to see what the new site has to offer, then let us know what you like and what you would change. This is your website, and we're committed to making it the best it can be. Contact me, Laura Blair, at laura.blair@ci.red-wing.mn.us or 651-385-3699.

Laura Blair is the Red Wing's director of Administrative Services and public information officer. You'll find the new website at www.red-wing.org.

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