The CHCA to get cost estimates for operating a “web portal”

The Chestnut Hill Community Association is looking at how much a web portal will cost. At last night’s CHCA Budget and Finance Committee, members made funding estimates should an expanded website be approved.

The web portal as proposed would feature news from the Chestnut Hill Local newspaper, which is funded by CHCA, along side stories and event announcements from the local business association (CHBA), business improvement district (BID) and the community association (CHCA).

Miguel Castenada, chair of the web portal committee, attended the meeting to explain the findings of the web portal committee and how that will fit in the budget. Up to this point there has been a lot of concern over how the portal will affect the Local. Castenada attempted to ease those concerns.

“Both sides of the house – print and digital – will work together,” Castenada asserted.

Castenada stressed that the Local cannot take on the transition alone and will need support in technology and in personnel. On the technical side, the committee projected expenditures of at least $1200 a month. This would include the cost of software, bills, and commission for sales representatives.

Castenada is confident that the web portal will bring in more money in advertising. He projected that the cost of print advertising would stay the same and those merchants could consider online advertising for about $25 more.

“The sales staff should be able to show customers they will make at least $25 more per week,” Castenada said in reference to the change in rates once the portal would factor in.

Another cost to consider is that of the portal manager’s salary, at $60,000 a year. During the transition process, the CHCA will also need a consultant to help through the beginning stages, which they predict will be for about 30 days at $4,000.

At the next CHCA meeting on Thursday April 28 the web portal committee will make a presentation about projected costs and plan for the web portal.

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