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App shows success reporting code issues to city employees

Published: Friday, July 26, 2013 12:04 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 26, 2013 12:27 p.m. CDT

Tired of that pothole in the middle of the street? Well, there’s an app for that. Sort of.

Since January, the city has received 675 reports on its Citizen Request Tracker app. The app, which has been in place since April of 2012, allows citizens to send the city departments reports on various problems or concerns around the city. City Clerk Katrina Davis said the system is working great.

“The request tracker is a way for citizens or employees in the community to go in and report a nuisance or concern, website issues, police issues,” Davis said. “There’s all sorts of different issues or if it’s just a miscellaneous item they can put that in their too.”

The reports are then delivered to a back-end client at the different city departments. City staff are notified via email with the details of the report and any photos that have been attached to the report. Code enforcement individuals follow-up on nuisance complaints and other city staff follow-up on other issues that have been reported, like sidewalk maintenance or down trees in public roadways.

As of Thursday, Davis said that there were currently 213 open reports that haven’t been resolved. She said that these reports don’t disappear though and the system reminds city employees that the reports are unresolved.

“If it hasn’t been responded to in a certain amount of time then it sends another email and then to the supervisor of that department to let them know,” Davis said. “We’re definitely trying to stay on top of all of these”

As part of the new nuisance ordinance, employees or citizens may take a photo of the grass clippings that have been blown out into the middle of the street. If this is reported using the new system, the property owner may face a reprimand from the city. So far, the city has only received one of those reports.

“We’re trying to get them closed in a matter of days,” Davis said. “We’re trying to get them looked at and investigated within two-three days,”

Davis said that investigating these reports as soon as possible is vital to the nuisance ordinance because overgrown grass may not stay that way. Additionally, Davis hopes that the reporting system deters some of these issues in the future.  

“People know the code is going to be enforced more strictly,” Davis said. “and more penalties involved so I hopes they would go ahead and take care of their situations before it got to that point.”

Right now, the app is only available for the Iphone, but Davis said that an Android version of the app should be available soon.

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Staff writer Dave Hon may be contacted at (641)-792-3121, ext. 425, or at dhon@newtondailynews.com via email.

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