The Centre County Government’s Web Information Access website will have a new look and improved service in early May.
WEBIA is an interactive public access website that offers visitors downloadable and printable documents from the historical databases of the recorder of deeds, register of wills, prothonotary and tax offices.
The website also offers WEBIA and Geographic Information System mapping, which allows visitors to locate land parcels using satellite or graphic imagery.
About one year ago, the board of commissioners approved a contract with RBA Professional Data Systems, of State College, to rebuild the website, which is more than 10 years old.
Phil Cahill, RBA’s vice president of business development, said the company branded the site with Centre County Government graphics, moved the site to a new platform and increased security.
The move to the new platform allows the website to be accessed from mobile devices and eliminates browser limitations, which has been an issue with the original site, according to Cahill.
WEBIA has always required a paid membership. A new account activation fee is $10 and after activation, members can purchase clicks to navigate the site. The per click price is 15 cents for the minimum package of 50 credits; but if a member purchases a larger package of clicks, there is a per click price decrease. The new site will not increase any of the usage fees.
RBA is running a free test period from April 25 through 27. During the free trial period, visitors can provide RBA with feedback by emailing the address provided on the WEBIA homepage. Any credit balance remaining for existing members will be transferred into the new website.
Bill Browder, vice president of RBA, said the company is excited about the website going live, but if the feedback from the test period reveals concerns with the product, additional enhancements can be made.
The website improvements cost the county about $96,000, but Michael Pipe, chairman of the board of commissioners, said the upgrades to the website were needed to adapt to changing technology.
“This is going to be a huge leap forward for the website and we’re very excited,” Pipe said.
After the test period is over, RBA will take the new website down and review any feedback. The site is expected to be published permanently on May 1.