BRISTOL - The city has contracted with a tech company called Really Simple Reporting to bring a customized phone app to city residents to encourage reporting and feedback on local problems.
The app, also known as “Really Simple Reporting,” is free and can be downloaded from the iPhone or Android store. It allows residents to report common issues directly by taking a photo and hitting “send.” City staff then receive an email stating the problem, a photo, and the exact GPS location.
Residents can use the app to report blight/illegal bulk, burned out lights, potholes, abandoned shopping carts and hazardous road conditions. If they choose to use the custom button in the app, residents can report any other concerns not listed.
“With people using their phones for so many things, I think this is going to be very successful,” said Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu. “This new app fits perfectly with our philosophy of partnering with residents to create the highest quality of life. The ability to hear about issues affecting the city directly from residents will help us document and create efficiencies.”
“We have been practicing with this for the last 60 days to work out the bugs,” said Lindsey Rivers, Public Works analyst who oversees the work order and request process. “Our city staff in several departments have been using it while they are out on the road and it is very easy to use.”
“I think it is really important to note that this does not replace the traditional means of reporting to City Hall via a phone call,” said Councilor Mary Fortier. “Citizens can still call Public Works or the police non-emergency line and those requests will be added to the list.”
“How many of us drive by items on a daily basis and make a mental note to call or email about it, and then forget? This phone app is going to help with the timeliness of reporting items in neighborhoods in a much quicker way,” said Councilor Peter Kelley.
Really Simple Reporting describes itself as “a citizen engagement company that focuses on bringing tools to cities to decrease barriers to city/resident interactions with a goal of creating a cost-effective tool for citizen engagement. Really Simple Reporting is being used in all 50 U.S. states, Canada and Mexico.”
The Department of Public Works also has a way to report problems online, as well as information on various programs and resources. To view it, visit www.bristolct.gov and choose Public Works from the Department list.
For more information, call city at 860-584-6125, call Really Simple Reporting at 602-492-5354, or visit www.reallysimplereporting.com .
Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.