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Colorado County Releases Public Works Reporting App

El Paso County, Colo.’s Citizen Connect smartphone app creates a two-way dialogue between residents and county staff and allows for more efficient use of staff time.

by Rachel Riley, The Gazette / May 4, 2018
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(TNS) —  El Paso County, Colo., has launched a program that will allow citizens to report potholes, fallen trees and faulty traffic signals without having to make a phone call.

The Citizen Connect smartphone app, which officials presented to the Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday, enables residents to report such issues by providing their location and a few other details.

By registering their information with the app, users can also receive updates from county staff, who will confirm the receipt of their request and inform them about the resolution of the problem, said county spokesman Dave Rose.

For example, if someone reports a downed street sign, a crew member can upload a picture of the sign once it's been erected again and send a notification to the user who made the request.

The app was created by Los Angeles-based technology consulting firm 3Di Systems, which has developed programs for cities including Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Rose said.

The county paid about $95,000 in start-up costs for the app, and annual operational expenses will total about $60,000, said the county's IT Director Jeff Eckhart

Users can choose from one of 27 different types of services, including wildlife issues, dumping and trash removal and road maintenance. The app can also be used to report illegal camping on county property, including parks, trails and open space.

If a citizen makes a request about an issue that's outside of the county's jurisdiction, county staff will forward the request to the appropriate government, such as Colorado Springs or Fountain, Rose said.

The app is part of th county's push to better serve residents in a digital age. Last month, the county unveiled a revamped, mobile-friendly website that officials say is designed to help citizens more easily find the information they need. The county also has plans to go public with a new agenda management system that will allow citizens to more easily search through board action that was taken at past county commissioner meetings, and the county assessor is in the process of updating his website.

Residents can download the Citizen Connect app from their smartphones. The same services are available on desktop computers at citizenconnect.elpasoco.com.

©2018 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.