The app is available for free for iPhones, iPads, and Android phones and tablets. Users who see a problem will be able to report a problem that they see, will receive a push notification letting them know that the problem is being taken care of, and can check on the status of their request. If the problem falls into someone else’s jurisdiction, such as a pothole on a state road, it will send an email to the state and give the customer the state’s contact information so that they can follow up.
“This is about improving our ability to respond to customers’ concerns and complaints. Sometimes somebody will see something and they won’t know how to get a hold of somebody to get it repaired. This is another step in facilitating that process,” said Mayor Harry Rilling.
Public Works Operations Manager Lisa Burns said the new app will allow residents and visitors to the city to report any problems no matter the time of day and know it is being handled. The city has a similar portal on its website, allowing people to send requests to city departments. That portal has been improved, so residents can now track the status of their requests and see what other requests in their neighborhoods have been made.
“We encourage everybody to go out and use it. It makes the city a better place the more engaged the residents are,” Burns said. “The way the world is working now, a lot of interaction is done through social media and through technology, and I think now Norwalk is on the forefront of having that communication as well with its citizens and visitors.”
The app uses GPS location to track where you are making a request, though you can also input an address if you are in a different location. You can also send photos and videos along with your request.
“We found that there are users that are including a photo, which is extremely helpful when they do submit that request. It’s great to get a visual of a pothole or a sinkhole,” said Customer Service Manager Connie Blair.
Developing the app cost about $2,500 in upfront expenses, Burns said, and will cost between $11,000 and $12,000 in annual costs.
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