Members of the Hot Springs Board of Directors accepted Arkansas Business’ 2015 City of Distinction Technology Advancements Award for cities over 20,000 in population at an awards ceremony during the recent Arkansas Municipal League Fall Conference. The award was given to Hot Springs for the development of its website, http://www.cityhs.net . It is featured in a full-page article within an Arkansas Business special report at http://www.arkansasbusiness.com/article/108477/hot-springs-citizens-connect-with-city-online-winner-technology-advancements-over-20000 .
The city’s former website was cluttered, difficult to navigate, and lacking in curb appeal. Moreover, budget constraints relegated a website overhaul to the city’s wish list. Meanwhile, a Manhattan, Kansas-based information technology and services provider named CivicPlus was searching for cities needing assistance with website development. Hot Springs’ Public Information Department responded to an email invitation to enter CivicPlus’ “Extreme Website Makeover Contest,” figuring it had everything to gain. In April 2013, Hot Springs was chosen as one of 12 winning U.S. cities from a pool of 161 finalists. The Board of Directors accepted the Grand Prize package worth $42,725. CivicPlus provided Hot Springs with a brand new web portal, custom site design, complete content development, on-site training and a waiver of annual fees for the first two years.
The city website now provides a fresh, modern look, increased citizen engagement, improved user experience, decentralized upkeep and taxpayer savings in terms of time and money. The website also won two national awards in 2014 from the City-County Communications and Marketing Association (3CMA).
According to Arkansas Business’ website, the Cities of Distinction awards recognize the successes of Arkansas cities as demonstrated by financial innovations, resourceful efficiencies, improved public service and overall enhanced public trust and support.