See, click and help fix Farmington’s problems
These days, more and more people have smartphones, and Farmington city administrator David McKnight sees a way those phones can be put to use for the good of the community.
McKnight recently came across a new app for smartphones called See Click Fix. It allows residents to report non-emergency issues in their neighborhood by taking a photo with their smartphones and posting the photos on a community-specific website.
Communities that use the See Click Fix app designate staff as verified officials. In many cases, those officials are department directors and leads, who then acknowledge the problems as they are posted.
In Eden Prairie — one of the only Minnesota cities using the app so far — a report was filed that a fire hydrant sign was missing. The report was acknowledged by one individual, who assigned it to the city’s public works department. From there, it was reassigned to a specific individual to handle the issue.
Residents in Eden Prairie have used the app to report everything from graffiti and vandalism to overflowing garbage cans in city parks. McKnight thinks Farmington could benefit from the app, as well.
“This is a way for residents to use technology to get in touch with us and give us a good visual of an issue. Here’s a picture, here’s where it’s at,” he said. “This app will make it easier for you, the resident, to let us know what’s going on in your neighborhoods.”
The city will likely launch the program sometime in early 2014, McKnight said. City staff will have to go through training before the city can start using the app.
The program costs $5,000 per year, McKnight said, but it’s a cost that will likely reap benefits because the city will be able to see and address issues around the community before those issues can escalate into something more serious.
“This is another way for us to communicate with the residents, and it’s another way for them to communicate with us,” McKnight said.