Athens Review, Athens, Texas

April 9, 2013

County OKs contract

New website coming from Vision Internet

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — The Henderson County Commissioners Court approved a contract with Vision Internet on Tuesday to build and manage a new website for the county.

The county will pay about $17,500 for development of the site that Commissioners hope will be up and running by Labor Day. The decision to chose Vision Internet came after many hours of study by Information Technology Director Josh Brock, Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken Geeslin and the County IT Committee.

“We talked with multiple vendors to try to get the best bang for the buck for the county,” Geeslin said.

Vision Internet has extensive experience providing websites for municipalities and counties. Fort Bend County, the City of Richardson and The City of Round Rock are among the entities using Vision Internet website service.

“They’ve also done websites for larger cities like Atlanta and Reno,” Geeslin said.

The county accelerated efforts to get a new website and provider after the November, 2012 General Election, when citizens were unsuccessful in getting election totals. Brock explained that the difficulty was because Henderson County was one of many counties whose website was on the state server. On election night, the volume of hits by people in the various counties attempting to get results bogged down the server. November, 2012 was the third consecutive election that counties around the state had experienced the problem.

The IT Committee discussed the website change at its last meeting on April  3, and decided to recommend the commissioners contract with Vision Internet for the service.

In other action, Henderson County 9-1-1 District Executive Director Don Houston presented the budget for May 1, 2013 through April 30, 2014. The balanced budget projects expenses of $760,000 for the year.

The top expense will be for upgrades to the 9-1-1 network and database, with an estimated cost of $175,000. Houston explained that the district needs to expand the bandwidth.

“Our facilities today that connect our three public safety answering points have a small bandwidth line,” Houston said. “For an end user making a 9-1-1 call to be able to send a data file, a picture or a text, you need a larger bandwidth.”

Income for the 9-1-1 District comes from user fees. More than half  of the  projected revenue, $385,000, comes from callers using wireless service. Wireline customers account for $345,000.