App gives residents more access to city

VISTA — Residents now have a mobile way of connecting with their city.

Access Vista, a new smartphone app developed for the city, was released earlier this month as another way residents can report any kind of problem they might spot in their community.

“The most convenient feature is that residents on the go or out and about in the city can report a problem by using the Access Vista app — instead of calling in to the city of Vista hotline, or using the city website to report a problem,” said Andrea McCullough, the city’s communications officer.

The new Access Vista app allows residents to report issues as potholes or graffiti using their smartphones. Photo by Tony Cagala

The new Access Vista app allows residents to report issues as potholes or graffiti using their smartphones. Photo by Tony Cagala

Some of those problems logged since the app’s release on Sept. 12 includes notices of graffiti on public and private property, potholes and trash on public property.

McCullough explained that the GPS on the smartphone tracks the location, allowing the user to take a photo of the issue with their cell phone and submit the item on the app’s drop down menu.

“They don’t have to know the address if they are standing in the location,” said McCullough. “The new app also provides quick access to key city information and services.”

Though the app doesn’t connect residents with emergency services, and there are no plans to do so.

Residents have been able to report the same types of issues before by either calling the city’s Report a Problem hotline or website, which they’ll still be able to do.

In those cases, the issues are received on the next business day.

“A person submitting online or through the app will receive acknowledgment the complaint has been received,” said McCullough.

The app, however, allows users to view the issues that have been logged and see what the status is on its resolution.

This helps cut back on any duplicate reports of issues to the city.

 

“They can track the progress,” said McCullough. “For instance, someone submitting on the city app will see the status, ‘acknowledged’ or ‘closed.’

Depending on the issue logged, such as graffiti on public property, McCullough explained, it could be resolved within 48 hours.

Eight issues had been logged as of this week.

On average, McCullough said the hotline receives 65 calls a week, with 46 going to Public Works and 19 to Code Enforcement.

SeeClickFix, a Connecticut-based communications platform that got its start in 2008, developed the app.

The company has developed similar apps for hundreds of other cities across the country.

The city paid $13,000 for the app this year, which includes a $3,000 set up fee and a $10,000 maintenance fee.

The app will cost the city $10,000 a year for maintenance.

The free app is available for both Android and Apple smartphones.

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