The app will not replace emergency 911 service or the emergency line city utility customers should use when they smell natural gas.
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Adam Helms, the city’s director of resident services, which handles such issues as removing illegally dumped trash, says the application will move the city closer to around-the-clock input, even though City Hall is open eight hours a day, with exceptions of critical functions, such as police, fire and utilities.
“This really gives our citizens access to City Hall 24/7/365,” Helms said.
There also will be standards for what constitutes an adequate response time. If the person in charge of potholes, for example, doesn’t reply within that timeframe, such as 24 or 48 hours, “it’s going to get pushed up to his supervisor, so his boss can hold his feet to the fire, and say, ‘Hey, how come you haven’t responded to this?’”
The city hopes to go live with the program Dec. 4.
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Provided by Los Angeles-based CitySourced, it will cost $15,200 per year, with a one-time setup charge of $3,500.
The computer program will be far simpler for the general public — with far less guesswork. And even for people familiar with city government, such as senior analyst Aaron Hufford, who works there, it will be much faster.
On the computer-only 311 system city government will use until the new app goes live, he said, “I see things on my walk to and from work all the time, and on our current system, I have to snap a photo, email it to myself, get to my computer at home, upload it, log in (to the current 311 system), and submit it.”
On the other hand, with the new app, “I’ll just be able to open the app, snap a photo, and send it off,” Hufford said. “And I’ll be done before I get to the next block.”
Prior requests, such as replacements for street lights, will also be visible to other users. But some requests, related to crime, will go directly to Hamilton detectives and will not be visible to others.
The free Hamilton 311 app will be available for both Apple devices on iTunes (itunes.apple.com) and Android on the Google Play store (play.google.com).