Saturday, May 30, 2015

News of the City

Created twenty or more years ago, the City of Hudson website is a favorite thing to complain about. People have been kvetching about the website and advocating for an upgrade--to make it more attractive, more interactive, a better source of information, a better reflection of our cool little city--for at least ten years. But, because of lack of money, the requirements of the platform that delivers the city code, the constraints of Digital Towpath, the website continues to crank along, with the only visible change being the introduction of an annoying and unattractive vertical crawl of type, highlighted in bright colors, that delivers breaking news about snow emergencies and parking regulations.

Even though it's not the most engaging or aesthetically pleasing of websites, it's useful to visit it from time to time, as Gossips did last night and learned two things of interest.

First, the City has put out a Request for Proposals for a "Power Purchase Agreement Providing a Remote Net Metered 2 MW Photovoltaic Power Production System." The RFP was issued on Friday, May 29, and the deadline for submitting proposals is Monday, June 15. 

It will be remembered that Herbert Ortiz of Energy in the Bank presented, first to the Common Council, on May 19, and then to the Economic Development Committee, on May 21, a proposal that the City enter into a twenty-year contract to purchase electricity from Energy in the Bank, produced by a $6 million solar farm to be constructed, for the City's exclusive use, in Schoharie County, on land that Energy in the Bank has already purchased for the purpose. According to Ortiz, if the City doesn't act quickly, it will miss out on some significant benefits. However, Common Council president Don Moore told Gossips today that the City would qualify for those benefits if it issued an RFP before June 1. "Solar Energy Contract" is one of the agenda items originally listed for the special meeting of the Common Council to take place on Monday, June 1, at 6 p.m.

The second thing of interest one can learn from visiting the City of Hudson website is that alternate side of the street parking has been suspended on weekends for the summer, starting this weekend. From now until the end of September, cars can be parked overnight on either side of the street (as they are on Gossips' block right now) from Friday to Saturday and from Saturday to Sunday without fear of reprisal. 

1 comment:

  1. I am kind of surprised by the statement that the City’s website was “[c]reated twenty or more years ago.”

    Very few municipalities had a website in 1995, let alone before that. Many major companies and even newspapers did not have sites back then. And I do not recall the City having a web presence when I got here in 1998.

    The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine indicates that the domain was established in February 2001, which is about 14 years ago:*/

    It’s possible the City might have had some rudimentary site before that hosted elsewhere (say, on, but again I don’t remember one. If so, it was probably little more than a one- or two-page site with basic phone contacts. But again, I don’t recall seeing one, at a time that I was trying to get Hudson residents and politicians to do more online (e.g. with the 1998 establishment of the HANDY email listserv, run with Majordomo software, which predated Yahoo groups and the like).