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The City Journals

The city in your pocket: Riverton releases new official app

May 07, 2018 01:49PM ● By Mariden Williams

By Mariden Williams | [email protected]

This month, Riverton City officials are rolling out a new app to its residents. The Riverton Connect app, available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play, is essentially a mobile version of the official city website. Officials hope it will provide residents with quick, easy access to city services, whether they're somewhere with a computer or not.

Just as on the city website, app users will be able to pay utility bills, view city news and announcements, and contact various governmental departments. But city officials are most excited about the portion of the app dubbed "Report a Problem," which allows residents to alert city officials about issues—such as potholes, broken sprinklers and broken traffic lights—as they encounter them, instead of waiting until they can get to a computer or call a representative.

"The ‘Report a Problem’ section is really the heart and soul of the app," said Casey Saxton, city communications director. Touching the “Report a Problem” icon prompts the user to select a problem category—for example, streets—and then branches into smaller sub-issues, such as potholes or road blockages. "All of the categories will require a location right up front, so we know where the issue is being reported."

From there, users can describe the problem, upload a photo—whatever they desire. Once someone submits the report, the app automatically forwards it to a city official qualified to deal with the problem. Have you ever wanted to report something, but been unsure who exactly to report it to? The app will take care of that for you.

"As staff, we have a staff app that will send us a push notification depending on who's assigned to that particular department when it's been submitted," Saxton said. "So not only will that staff member receive an email—if they're out in a field, in a park, doing work, they'll receive a notification right there."

Other features include a directory of contact information for schools and other community organizations, a searchable copy of the city code, the city's zoning map, information on current elected officials and the ability to access city meeting recordings and agendas directly from the app. It will also make it easier than ever to contact any official you need.

"When you click on a phone number, it'll open up your phone client, and then you just hit the dial button," said Saxton.

"I love the simplicity of this thing,” said Councilman Brent Johnson. “I love how clean it is. It doesn't have a lot of squirrely-whirly stuff going on; it's easy to navigate. I mean, if somebody can't find what they're looking for on this page, they probably have a little more problem than the page itself. Even I could navigate this, I think."

The app integrates seamlessly with existing features on the user’s mobile device, including native email, calendar, map and phone apps. The event calendar allows users to add desired city events to their own mobile device calendar, removing the hassle of typing in information manually. Residents can expect further features and improvements in future updates.

"There is a lot of functionality to this application that we're not going to be rolling out on day one," said Mayor Trent Staggs. "I think we'll have to allow our users to kind of become educated along with our staff on all of its capabilities down the road."