Westborough to test smart phone app
By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor
Town Manager Jim Malloy told the Board of Selectmen at its Dec. 17 meeting that Westborough and 34 other communities will be “piggy-backing” onto a grant that the city of Boston won from the state's Community Innovation Challenge program.
The grant, titled “Commonwealth Citizens Connect App Development for Local Governments across Massachusetts” was awarded to Boston on the condition that it allows other municipalities to utilize the smart phone app as well. In Westborough, the app will be used to let residents report situations such as downed trees or potholes to the Department of Public Works (DPW).
A resident can send a message to the DPW which in essence then creates a “work ticket,” Malloy said. A response will be sent back to them once the request is received and after it is fulfilled.
The app has a GPS feature as well and a function that allows residents to see if a request has already been submitted for that issue.
Malloy noted that town officials had been looking into a similar program for some time. But this opportunity, he said, will allow the town to try the program out at no cost.
“Instead of spending money to see if we like it, we can get it for free for three years,” he said.
If the app proves to be a success, it will cost the town approximately $4,900 a year after the trial period is up, he said.
Residents will be able to start using the app, which will work on iPhones and Androids, in March, Malloy said.
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