Winnebago County unveils new Web site

Area residents now have a redesigned window through which to view Winnebago County government.

Winnebago County Win-CART (Winnebago County Action Response Team) Director Earl Dotson Jr. said he wanted to ensure it represented Rockford as well as the entire county, while offering valuable information.

The new County of Winnebago Web site was introduced May 30. Dotson said hearing complaints about the previous Web site prompted him to take action.

Dotson said he approached Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen about it in October 2005. According to Dotson, Christiansen readily gave him permission to pursue the project. He quickly got started by forming a committee.

“I wanted to get a group of right-brained and left-brained people,” Dotson said.

He said the committee met weekly to prepare and review bids for Web development firms. Dotson said the committee decided Rockford-based KMK Media Group was the right fit for them. According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, Jeff Klarman serves as KMK Media Group’s president.

“We work really well together,” he said.

Dotson said the committee’s job ended once the firm was selected, but he said his work was only beginning. Getting all county departments on board, Dotson said, was a major challenge. He said the old site didn’t allow departments to control their own information. So, they created their own individual sites. The new site has changed that, Dotson said.

“We put the control and the accountability on the department,” he said.

Dotson said information such as job postings, bids and highway department projects as well as county board minutes and agendas can be posted on the site.

“It’s kind of a porthole into each county department,” he said.

Dotson noted the WinCART database is available on the Web site. He also said national data standards are available for site selectors. Commercial developers use it to make location decisions.

“It enhances our whole economic development department,” Dotson said.

The new site’s other features include a 360-degree virtual tour of the county and instantly updated press releases for each department.

The new Web site can be found at

For more information, call Dotson at (815) 987-2577.

From the June 7-13, 2006, issue

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