SIPA: helping government go digital

Marybeth Van Horn accepted a $1,000 micro grant on behalf of the town of Moffat at an event Tuesday in Denver. With her are, left, Irv Halter, the director of the Department of Local Affairs, and to her right, Secretary of State Wayne Wiliams and state Sen. Dom Coram, R-Montrose. (SOS photo)
Jill Jolton, enterprise content management coordinator for the city of Arvada, and Rep. Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale. (SOS photo)

Government agencies big — the University of Colorado — and small — the town of Moffat, pop. 116 — rejoiced Tuesday night when accepting grants designed to help them put more information and services online.

CU received $3,000 to scan historic maps of the state published between 1880 and 1907 and put them online, and another $6,500 to digitize the state House and Senate journals back to the 1800s and make them available to the public.

The town of Moffat, located in Saguache County, received $1,000 to help update and maintain the town’s website.

“We are excited to use this SIPA grant to help increase communications, educate our citizens and create accessibility in our small rural community,” said Marybeth Van Horn of Moffat.

The grants were doled out from the Statewide Internet Portal Authority or SIPA, which explores how citizens can electronically access state government information, products and services. Secretary of State Wayne Williams, who serves on SIPA’s board, presided over the grant ceremony hold in the lobby of the Ralph Carr Justice Building.

Irv Halter, the director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Rep. Don Coram of Montrose and Secretary of State Wayne Williams mingle at a reception Tuesday before awarding micro grants to government agencies. (SOS photo)

“Here’s how it’s going to work,” Williams said to the recipients.

“We’re going to invite you up, we’re going to hand you the mic for you to make a one-sentence description — and this is not a one-sentence like a ballot issue that goes on for two pages — but a one- sentence description of what the project is and how the grant’s going to help, so people know the scope of what we’re doing.”

Helping to present the awards were Jack Arrowsmith, the director of SIPA; Irv Halter, the director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs; and Sen. Don Coram of Montrose and Rep. Bob Rankin of Carbondale.

The city of Arvada received $5,000 to help set up a Google Drive system to search open-records requests it receives. The Sedgwick County Assessor’s office was awarded $6,500 to improve its “antiquated technological services” so that information that currently can only be found on paper will be able to be searched online. The Timberline Fire District received $6,500 to help keep a community calendar current and with website migration to the website platform.

Here is a list of this year’s recipients.