Calera receives Civic Experience Award

Published 3:12 pm Tuesday, September 19, 2023

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By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

CALERA – The city of Calera received a prestigious national award that recognized recent enhancements to the city’s online presence during an awards ceremony held on Monday, Sept. 18.

Presented by CivicPlus, the Civic Experience Awards are a nationwide accolade that celebrate local government departments, teams and governing municipalities and their dedication to enhancing civic engagement and experiences through digital interaction.

As the recipient of the Bronze Award in the Civic Experience Awards, the city of Calera placed third nationally in the competition and was recognized for a wide variety of efforts that have updated and revolutionized the city’s online presence.

“Our recognition stemmed from several key factors, including our recent website redesign, online form submission process, the implementation of an artificial intelligence chatbot and the overall user-friendly design of our website,” said James Fuller, Calera’s director of IT services. “This achievement is a source of immense pride for both our city and our dedicated technology department.”

In addition to this recognition, CivicPlus also made a charitable contribution of $500 in Calera’s name.

For Calera, the recognition from CivicPlus serves not only as a moment to celebrate what has been accomplished, but as an inspiration to keep moving forward in the betterment of their online presence.

“Our commitment to improvement remains unwavering, as we are continually exploring ways to enhance our website and streamline communication with our citizens,” Fuller said. “We acknowledge the busy lives led by our residents—often making it challenging to conduct business in person. Consequently, we have undertaken substantial initiatives to ensure that our website caters to the convenience of our citizens, especially outside regular business hours.”

These recent improvements, including the website’s “Forms” section and the newly implemented 24/7 chatbot, now make it possible for residents of Calera to make inquiries and have a multitude of needs addressed without having to abide by the normal operating hours of city services.

“Your convenience is our priority, and we remain dedicated to serving you better,” Fuller said.