City of Oswego launches mobile reporting app

Sep 25, 2013

The city of Oswego has launched an app allowing residents to report issues directly to the necessary department.

Sixth ward Common Councilor Eric VanBuren researched the free app and brought it to the Common Council for approval. He says the program will reduce waste and hold the city more responsible for addressing concerns.

"You know, someone would submit that request to us or to someone else, there was no visibility to it," VanBuren said. "Now, when you see that, other people can see it as well."

The app also provides several benefits.

"A, an e-reporting system for multiple departments, for different issues all through the city on a mobile device or a computer," VanBuren said. "And B, it also offers a database, so that we can track those complaints and issues that we're reporting, and see where we're putting the most amount of our resources."

Users can create reports by taking photos, audio or video, and then tag their location suing the phone's GPS. A short description of the problem can also be added to the report. From there, staff can change the status of each request and contact the submitter through the program for more information.

So far, reports have included damaged street signs, tall grass complaints and storm drain issues, though others target city ordinance violations and requests for city officials.

VanBuren says the app cost the city $5,000 to have build, set up the programs, train the city's staff and for the database to hold the information. He says the cost to maintain the app will be less.