Village Board hears website usage report

Nearly 1,400 people have visited the Village of Stillwater website since it was first launched last spring and the numbers continue to grow, the Village Board learned Thursday (August 16) night.

The site, which was designed free of charge as a gift from lifelong village resident, Bonnie (Cefferillo – Stillwater Class of 1980) Minick, has had a total of 2,093 visits since debuting on April 1, according Google Analytics — a program which keeps statistics on the site. Of those visits, 1,346 were “unique” or completely different visitors logging on.

“What the data tells me is that people are visiting the site regularly and they are coming back in larger numbers each and every month,” said the website editor, who presented a 10-minute report to Trustees. “We hope more residents get on board as the site grows in popularity and they rely on it as their primary source for village news and information.”

From April 1 to August 16, a total of 6,394 pages have been visited at an average of three pages per visit. Most viewers stay on the site for about three minutes, the data shows, suggesting they are seeking out the latest information “posts” then going elsewhere.

“I’d compared it to someone reading a newspaper,” the website editor added. “They get the information they are seeking then they move on. That’s how a website should work.”

The report also shows how the site is growing in usage from one month to the next.

Since the site was first launched, new web features have been added. Most popular to viewers has been the introduction of the photo gallery section highlighting such events as the Memorial Day Parade, Stillwater Family Days, Blockhouse activitiesas well as historic snapshots of the village past. Others have tuned into the site for coverage of Village Board meetings and other village news events.

In other business Thursday night,

  • The Village Board heard an update on the sewer improvement project underway this summer. Completed is the sewer work on Dorchester Drive and New Bridge Drive, and the roads in that area will be paved in the next few weeks. Work recently began on Lake Road and crews will move to Clinton Court in the next few weeks.
  • Department of Public Works Superintendent Robert Gerasia reported that village fire hydrants are scheduled to be flushed on Monday, August 20, and Tuesday, August 21.
  • Trustee Ellen Vomacka said there were additional delays holding up the start of the sidewalk installation project near Stillwater Central School but she hoped they would be cleared up with the New York State Department of Transportation “shortly” so the project can go out to bid.
  • Trustee Judy Wood-Shaw reported that 28 residents to date had completed the online survey the Village Comprehensive Plan Committee set up earlier this summer to gather input from village residents as to what they would like to see in their village in the future and to get an idea of their priorities. So far, the top two priorities of survey takers has been investigating the installation of a natural gas line into the village (64 percent) and paving Route 4 (45 percent).
  • Mayor Ernest Martin asked Trustees for permission to solicit bids for village insurance next year with the hopes of saving on premium costs. The board heard a report from long-time insurance carrier Adirondack Trust in July. Since that time the village was approached by another insurance company that said it could save them about 13 percent for the same coverage. “Our insurance career has been very good to us for many years, but in this day and age, you have to look at any way you can to save,” Martin said. Trustees agreed to hold the bidding process in January or February, 2013.