I would definitely do initial user interviews to understand what they need from such a website.
But make sure you define who those users are. Is this website mainly for newbies to your town? Are they for long-time residence? Both? If you have more than one user type, you should create personas for each of them.
You can look at what other local town websites are doing, such as what features or topics they include. This is called a competitive analysis.
You can even try testing something called card sorting with users to see what topics they value the most. This can help you decide which to prioritize.