MARION, IL (KFVS) - The City of Marion, Illinois has launched it's own app for android and iPhones.
The city made the decision to develop the app in October of 2014 and went high tech by April of 2015 when the app was launched, according to Marion's Information Technology Director Terance Henry.
“With our app it's 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Henry said. "So, they can report it when they get off work and know that the next morning when we come in that one of our various departments will get it.”
The app allows users to report and request issues to city all city departments, has an interactive map outlining the city limits, notifies public of emergencies, pay water bills, displays contacts for all city departments, watch city council meetings, see events happening in Marion, and
According to Henry, the city has had 74 reports since the app launched in April. Henry said 66 or 90-percent of those reports have since been taken care of a closed.
“It's all about, how do you reach the people in a short period of time and what is one thing that everybody has that they won't leave home without? It's there cellphone," Henry said. “It's definitely been beneficial all the way around the board.”
Since then, the city's free app has been downloaded more than 700 times and the city has received 74 requests for service, Henry said.
Henry said the development of the app cost the city from $2,500 to $4,000.
App users can sign up with the city to make reports or make reports anonymously.
Henry said anyone not using the app can still report city related issues via phone calls or in person.
“We've got all kinds of ways of them getting in touch with us and so the app is just another level for those guys for people to get in touch with us," Henry said.
In emergency situations the city can send out push notifications to instantly alert Marion residents of possible dangers such as impending weather, police or fire situations, and other issues.
Marion residents using the app can report issues in their neighborhoods including graffiti, water leaks, environmental issues, abandoned structures, downed traffic signals or street lights, potholes, general police issues, animal complaints, lost pets, noise complaints, wellness checks for neighbors, high grass, low graves, and more.
“So, when they [city council] start to go through and budget and do the different things that they want to do, they can say ell we had all these issues on this side of town. Let's use our resources over here," according to Henry.
The City of Marion also offers free WiFi for visitors in it's downtown area.