Lindsay contemplates citywide notification app for citizens

(Rigo Moran)

Lindsay City Council considers the use of the app GOGov, which would connect the city with its residents to supply information and alerts amongst other services

LINDSAY – To keep residents informed, altered and connected with what’s going on in the city, Lindsay City Council is thinking about making use of a mobile app called GOGov.

On June 27, Kevin Strauss, vice president of regional sales for GOGov, demonstrated his quality of life app to council. This app, which is used by 100 cities statewide, would allow the city of Lindsay to connect to its residents with the click of a button.

“It’s centered around a branded mobile app for your residents that’s going to really help them do three main things,” Strauss said.

These three things include providing city information such as the location of nearby parks, sending out alerts to residents about events or hazards such as road closures, and submitting service reports such as the appearance of potholes.

This app would be completely customized by the city using the tools that GOGov provides. These customizations would include things such as picking the amount of applets on the service, which are the buttons on the app that link to different webpages.

“You can have a few or as many as you would like,” Strauss said. “The purpose of them is really to kind of shortcut residents to the most highly desired city information.”

As mentioned above, information isn’t the only thing the app would provide. Citizens would also be able to use it to contact the city and submit service requests.

“So instead of calling the city when I see a pothole or someone hasn’t cut their grass, I could just hit the request button,” he said. “What I’ll see there is a listing of issue types the city makes available for people to submit.”

Once Strauss was done with his presentation, the moderator invited the council to give their opinions. While responses were generally positive, there was an even split between whether or not they wanted to implement the app.

Mayor Hipolito Angel Cerros, who requested the app demonstration, argued that the flat price of $11,520 – which includes access to software training and a marketing team – was well worth the money considering what the town has recently spent funds on.

“I know that $11,000 could be a little heavy at the moment, but we just spent $5,000 for a (service) that happens once a year, whereas this is a whole year thing,” Cerros said.

The mayor went on to list the tradeoffs, such as the app’s provided training and marketing as well as the ability to push information and promote local events and businesses.

“I think it’s worth it,” he said to his fellow councilors.

While the council agreed that the app had some great features, some of its members felt that the negative tradeoffs outweighed the positive ones, such as the time they’d have to put into employee training as well as a lack of use from less tech-savvy residents.

After a bit more discussion, it was ultimately decided that they would discuss implementation of the app at a later date. 

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