Got a gripe? Notice an unsafe situation? A fire hydrant buried in snow or fed up with people speeding on your quiet suburban lane? The Town has launched its new mobile app called “Access Greenwich.” For now the app will be limited to issues concerning Parks & Rec, but will eventually expand to various other departments, including Police and Fire and Department of Public works.
Melissa Jones, senior management analyst in the office of the First Selectman and Peter Tesei gave a demonstration of a new app that will allow residents to submit complaints and issues via Android or iPhone or via a portal on the Town website, including photos. Residents can also use the app via Facebook.
“Most of the issues that come in pertain to issues of public works and parks & rec,” Tesei said, explaining that’s why the program is being piloted in the Parks & Rec Dept over the next five months. In the process of evaluating various software applications leading up to Monday’s kick-off, Jones said other town with similar apps were researched, including Danbury and Bridgeport.
Ms. Jones said that in researching other town, they learned that the number of requests can range from five a month to 20 a month. She also said the data will allow the Town Hall departments to track their own response time.
Mr. Tesei said the initial cost was between $25-30,000 stemming back to budget year 2013. Going forward, other costs will reflect staff time.
A key feature of the app, which is designed for residents to use on the go, is the ability to upload a photo in-the-moment. It is possible to submit an issue anonymously, providing just an email. However, if you provide your name, you can track the progress of the remedy.
Mr. Tesei said the old adage, “Don’t Tell me. Show me,” is apropos. He said the app, with the photos it collects, is a great tool to validate requests for funding. “It’s another tool as we put forward our annual budgets and validates request for funding.”