MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — Middletown residents are turning to technology to report issues and safety concerns to city officials.
The technology is called “SeeClickFix,” an app by a New Haven-based company that can be downloaded. Residents can report issues like illegal dumping and blight. Those concerns go straight to city departments.
“Health department, planning and zoning. Whatever issue comes in, we have pre-determined departments, depending on what the resident chooses,” said Chris Holden the Deputy Director of Middletown Public Works.
The app has been live in the area for a few months now. By far, the most complaints: potholes.
Holden added, “If it rains and pops out of the pothole. So, we’ll have to go back and refix the pothole, so it makes it a lot more challenging.”
Crews can only fill in potholes with cold patches and have to wait until April for asphalt. Relentless storms don’t help.
“The plows do have an impact on them not as much as the weather – that’s a bigger impact,” Holden said.
Middletown isn’t the only municipality to explore partnering with SeeClickFix. But not all municipalities decided to do so. A year into the job, Mayor Ben Florsheim says the biggest complaint he heard when running for mayor -was how many reports go unanswered.
“We have eyes and ears everywhere, and people will report these things to us before we’re even aware they’re there, and we can get out in front of it,” said Middletown Mayor Ben Florsheim.
There are some glitches with the system. For instance, if a resident reports a pothole on a state road, that would actually fall under the state’s jurisdiction.
Florsheim says Middletown is working on ironing out those issues.
“Make sure that people are at least getting a response – if they’re reporting an issue on a state road, they get a response from the city saying, ‘this is actually the state DOT you need to contact and here’s how you do that.'”