VILLA RICA, Georgia — There’s a new way for Villa Rica residents to communicate with city employees – and it’s as close as their cellphone.
“TextMyGov” is a system that works with any such phone equipped with texting. It’s designed to allow residents to report issues to city departments in such a way as to minimize response time. It also allows the city to quickly send alerts to residents, even if they are away from their computer.
To report issues like a pothole, or a missed trash pickup, residents send a text to 678-941-9961. They will then be asked to use certain keywords that will direct their concern to someone in the department who handles that specific issue. There will be no need to search for phone numbers or leave phone messages.
It’s a free service that works 24/7, so residents can report these issues – and even include photos that illustrate the problem – whenever needed, without downloading an app. Responses to the issues will follow as quickly as possible.
In addition, those who text “VRGeneral” to 91896 will enroll in a service that allows them to receive texts alerting them of hazards, such as a boil water advisory, the instant those alerts are issued.
In January, the City Council approved a two-year contract for the developers of the service, which is in Logan, Utah. The company designed the software to be available through any type of cellphone, especially non- “smartphones,” so long as they can send or receive texts.
Along with reporting such problems as downed trees or water leaks, users of the system can receive instant links answering queries about applying for a business license, employment with the city, or even paying a traffic ticket. The system can be customized to each department so that their most reported issues can be more quickly addressed.
The system guides the user through the reporting process by sending the user follow-up texts to gather such information as location, street name, and more. City officials can, in turn, use the reports generated to track patterns of similar issues throughout the city and plan to prevent future problems.
The city’s website, villarica.org, currently has a widget that provides more information on how the system works.
Media Release provided by the City of Villa Rica