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Westborough to test smart phone app

By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor

Westborough – Westborough will soon be one of 36 Massachusetts communities who will be testing a new smart phone app designed to help implement or improve municipal services.

Town Manager Jim Malloy told the Board of Selectmen at its Dec. 17 meeting that Westborough and 34 other communities will be “piggy-backing” onto a grant that the city of Boston won from the state’s Community Innovation Challenge program.

The grant, titled “Commonwealth Citizens Connect App Development for Local Governments across Massachusetts” was awarded to Boston on the condition that it allows other municipalities to utilize the smart phone app as well. In Westborough, the app will be used to let residents report situations such as downed trees or potholes to the Department of Public Works (DPW).

A resident can send a message to the DPW which in essence then creates a “work ticket,” Malloy said. A response will be sent back to them once the request is received and after it is fulfilled.

The app has a GPS feature as well and a function that allows residents to see if a request has already been submitted for that issue.

Malloy noted that town officials had been looking into a similar program for some time. But this opportunity, he said, will allow the town to try the program out at no cost.

“Instead of spending money to see if we like it, we can get it for free for three years,” he said.

If the app proves to be a success, it will cost the town approximately $4,900 a year after the trial period is up, he said.

Residents will be able to start using the app, which will work on iPhones and Androids, in March, Malloy said.

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=29756

Posted by on Dec 21 2012. Filed under Byline Stories, This Just In, Westborough. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for “Westborough to test smart phone app”

  1. Waset of money so that the well-off can use their toys.

  2. Apps like this make communication more accurate and efficient, and they create a web-based public record that increases accountability and enables residents to track the progress on reported problems.

    SeeClickFix is one a few of us have been using in Marlborough for a couple of years. Anyone can download the SeeClickFix app for free, and anyone–both residents and DPW, code enforcement, and others in the city–can use it for free. The only cost comes in if the community wants to integrate with their own internal workflow management system.

    Congrats to Westborough for moving ahead with this. Any idea of how the system compares with the base SeeFixClick offering?

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