Sunday, March 26, 2023

Buy now

Cleveland expected to spend millions revamping its 311 system: Stimulus Watch

- Advertisement -

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cleveland City Council could pass legislation on Monday that would allocate $4 million in COVID-19 relief money to repair the city’s ailing 311 system.

The legislation was approved earlier today by the City Council’s Finance, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. The committee is usually the last step for amendments and discussions before final approval.

The city’s 311 system allows residents to call 311 to file non-emergency complaints (such as reporting potholes and code violations) and to request information about public services. Residents often called city council members, leaving members stranded with calls.

A 2022 report from Alderman Rebecca Maurer’s office found that 91% of calls to city council members “required no council involvement,” previously reported.

Elizabeth Crowe, who oversees Cleveland’s data analytics department, said at the finance committee meeting that the original customer relations provider the city used went out of business, forcing the city to use other software that wasn’t designed to 311 -follow calls for information. The current supplier, Cityworks, tracks requests to repair a hole or have a tree trimmed, but does not track requests for information. As a result, the city isn’t sure what information people typically call to look for, Crowe said.

The city plans to improve communications by requiring vendors to offer a mobile application in addition to existing services and create reports based on what people call to ask questions about, Crowe said.

The city plans to keep the 311 staff it has, plus add two new staff members, Crowe said. Councilman Mike Polensek wondered if that would be enough staff, as 311 has been understaffed in the past. Crowe said it should be because the city expects more people to access the service digitally, rather than calling 311.

“The 311 system will only be as good and effective as the people answering the phones,” Polensek said.

Cleveland officials planned to review the city’s 311 system before legislation was introduced that allocated ARPA dollars to the project. In September, the city issued a formal request for potential suppliers to submit their proposals on how best to implement the upgrades.

The city received 12 bids and has narrowed the field down to two or three finalists, Crowe said.

“This is a 2023 project,” Crowe said. “We will do it this year, as long as the municipality agrees.”

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

- Advertisement -

Latest Articles