After more than ten years since we first started reviewing web sites, it remains impressive how local governments continue to challenge themselves to innovate when it comes to the web. This type of obvious attention to a municipality’s online presence is a mark of progressive leadership – and a technology team that is able to efficiently plan and implement these web site enhancements.

Kauai County’s recently redesigned web site is a perfect case in point. From a County Housing Demand Survey to weather and surf updates and annual financial reports, the new site is brimming with information. The redesign also provides access to a wide range of e-services, including payment of property taxes and sewer bills or checking on the status of a building permit.

Several geographic information systems (GIS) applications are also available, including a core tool that shows a tax map, points of interest, streets, and the ocean – and the recently added Online Hazard Assessment Tool, which shows flood hazard risk.

In addition to a fresh look, the revamped site features more information than ever, organized in a way that allows for easy, quick navigation.

Webmaster and IT data analyst David Murray, who led the redesign effort, likens the five top-level categories to doorways for each section of the site – local, visitor, government, business information and e-services.

“The main point of the redesign was to provide a broader canvas for the various types of content we have to offer,” says Murray. With the former site, he explains, it was becoming increasingly difficult to place content appropriately.

In addition to the top-level categories, visitors can also use the site’s simplified search engine, or browse through current news, local happenings, or noteworthy web site features highlighted on the site’s home page.