City of Vancouver’s attention just a click away with new app

Report any need for service any time, right from the spot

By Amy Fischer, Columbian City Government Reporter

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See a pothole or broken streetlight that needs fixing?

You can notify Vancouver city staff using the new MyVancouver mobile app.

The city is rolling out the app this week to make city government more accessible to residents. In this first phase, residents can submit service requests for a variety of issues: graffiti, street sign damage, potholes and streetlight outages. The app is free for download at Google Play and the Apple Store.

“Technology plays an important role in the future of our city. Apps can help us to engage with residents in new ways,” Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt stated Tuesday in an email. “We are always looking for ways to improve communication, customer service and make city government more accessible. We hope this mobile app will be another way to improve those connections.”

In the last three months, the city Public Works Department has received an average of 20 calls per day from the public, according to city staff. Some of those service requests could be reported using the app, said city spokeswoman Carol Bua.

The MyVancouver app will cost the city about $24,000 a year, which includes the development and ongoing software support, she said.

The app also presents city information such as the events calendar, street sweeping schedules, job listings, social media, and online services such as parking ticket and permit payments. More city services will be added to MyVancouver through the year.

The app walks users through the process to report a problem in the following steps:

• Select an issue. From within the app, click “service request” and select from an issue from the list.

• Enter the address for the service request so repair crews will know exactly where to go. If you have GPS location settings enabled on your mobile device, the location will be instantly mapped.

• Provide a description of the issue.

• Upload a photo to give city employees a look at the reported issue.

As service requests make their way through the city’s workflow, app users will receive notifications of the progress of their request. They also can view other nearby service requests that have been made.

Don’t have a smartphone? Note the address, and enter your service request online at www.cityofvancouver.us/MyVancouver. Go to “report a problem” and follow the same steps as for the app. Service requests also can be made by calling 360-487-8177 or 360-693-9302.