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Longview officials pleased with use of CitySend smartphone app

By Jessica Ferguson jferguson@news-journal.com
Dec. 23, 2012 at 10 p.m.


Reporting potholes, graffiti, and abandoned vehicles has become a lot easier for Longview residents since the launch of CitySend in February.

The mobile application and online service lets people report and track service requests while on the go.

Since its inception, the city has received 863 requests through CitySend, exceeding officials' expectations.

"When we first started, I didn't expect it to continue to be so successful," Justin Cure, information services manager with the City of Longview said. "I thought the newness would wear off."

The success continues as nearly 70 requests come in each month.

The application initially cost the city $14,000 - $12,000 for the annual subscription and $2,000 for set-up - and will cost $12,000 annually for the duration of usage.

Cure said he believes the free smartphone application has been worth the cost as it has lowered phone traffic and increased the detail given on service requests.

The application allows users to snap a photo, video or sound-byte of an issue or event, pinpoint the location on the map- if the phone doesn't have mapping capabilities- and submit the information directly to the city.

"Those requests come straight into the city's work management software, then it is distributed to the appropriate department," said city spokesman Shawn Hara.

Since the application allows the submission of photos and videos, city workers can see exactly what type of work needs to be done before going out to the site.

"When you see what it is in advance, we can respond more appropriately," the spokesman said.

The only request he has, in order to make the app even more efficient, is for residents "to put the photo in context of the surroundings."

For example, if taking a photo of a pothole, include stores or street signs nearby.

The application is available free of charge on Apple, Android, Blackberry and Windows devices.

A smartphone is not necessary for the use of CitySend. Requests can also be submitted through the CitySend link on the city's website, www.longviewtexas.gov.

The city also still accepts requests via phone or email.

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