Website launched where residents can report infrastructure issues

See. Click. Fix.

See. Click. Fix.

Reporting a problem in your Red Deer neighbourhood just got easier.

The website SeeClickFix.com allows tech-savvy residents to report infrastructure issues so they can get fixed by the city with a simple click of a mouse or the deft moves of fingers on a smartphone.

The online reporting tool replaced the city’s Report a Problem option on its website in mid-August.

On SeeClickFix, users post a problem like potholes or broken street lights and the appropriate city department will receive a notification. Users can type in the address of the problem or drag a marker on a map. Residents can comment, create neighbourhood watch areas and note when the issue is resolved.

“So that’s things like potholes, graffiti directly to the City of Red Deer,” said Jenny Spurr, a city communications consultant. “When someone makes a report . . . a notification is sent to the appropriate department. Then the problem enters that department’s workflow process and it’s resolved.”

Unlike the previous tool, the complaint goes directly to the city department responsible for fixing it. Spurr said the turnaround for fixing the problem depends on the issue and the department involved. The tool is more accessible than the previous option that was available only through the city’s website.

The complaints received so far range from bylaw infractions, noise complaints, broken street lights, storage of unused vehicles on streets, parking issues to cats at large. The tool is for non-emergency neighbourhood issues.

“The accessibility and mobility of it has made it tremendously successful,” said Spurr. “With our original Report a Problem, we were seeing about one report a day. Now with SeeClickFix, we’re getting on average about four per day.”

Users can download a smartphone application.

Coun. Paul Harris, an active user of the site, said this makes it a lot easier for residents to report when they are out and about.

“Whereas before you went home and you maybe remembered to go onto the website and fill out a form,” said Harris. “That was a much longer process. This here you can actually monitor what’s happening. When it gets fixed, you get notified. I think it’s really great.”

Harris said city staff can’t be everywhere and see all the problems happening in the community and this will help community engagement.

Because the city’s use of the tool is relatively new, Spurr said they have received complaints that may not be appropriate or under their jurisdiction.

“In terms of bylaw infractions, if someone has a complaint against a neighbour it’s important for them to know this is a public forum,” she said. “So if they have confidential or private information, this might not necessarily be the place to report.”

The city pays an annual license fee of $7,000 for SeeClickFix. Because Report-a-Problem was a program developed internally by the city’s Information and Technology Services Department, there were no direct costs associated with it.

Report a problem at www.seeclickfix.com or on the city’s website at www.reddeer.ca/OnlineServices/reportaproblem.htm.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com