• Posted On: November 25, 2014

Government workers ask a lot of their citizens. For instance, Port St. Lucie residents are being asked this summer to be patient in regards to overgrown vacant lots and the city’s ability to get to them in a timely fashion.

According to an article from a local media outlet, Port St. Lucie has a city code compliance division with a massive pile of complaints about weed abatement. With approximately 600 complaints on file, keeping up with them would be taxing for any governmental body. Community development manager tasks often include dealing with issues exactly like what this city is facing. At one time, if a citizen filed a complaint, it would take about 1.5 years to get to it, which means the weeds would have died and come back again by the time they were dealt with.

To try to ease the issues they were facing, city officials passed an ordinance requiring vacant lot owners to tend to their grounds and see that the lot is maintained properly. They also are paying city workers overtime to fill shifts on weekends to deal with the complaints.

Issues like this are common throughout the country, especially in areas where hot and humid summers give weeds and grass exactly what they need to get out of control. Add trees with branches that extend into adjoining properties and you’ve got the recipe for a community development manager nightmare.

Part of the problem governments have in dealing with issues like Port St. Lucie has with their weed infested vacant lots is a lack of infrastructure, like software that can assist in streamlining their weed abatement efforts. Instead of investing in new technology, they rely on decades old processes that do nothing but slow them down and undermine their efforts.

All overtime paid to employees who are trying to get caught up on the backlog of complaints is money that could be used to bring in new technology that creates efficiencies that not only save them money, but also help eliminate the backlog. Once the software is in place, there will be no need for the costly overtime. Specifically speaking, city code software can help city code departments report and track cases from the field through a mobile device.

With the right software, city workers can be in the field while scheduling their follow-up inspections. They can also print field reports, track the time spent on each case, maintain documents for historical purposes, pull up historical information on properties, build customized reports and send them to the appropriate people – all while out in the community instead of behind a desk.

Software is also available in the form of mobile apps that citizens can use on their smartphone and/or tablet computers. These apps allow them to give their city workers a hand by filing reports on problem areas, complete with photos and GIS integration that puts a bull’s eye on problem areas.

Comcate is a company building software that offers all the advantages listed above. Our commitment to getting government running more effectively and efficiently is evident in the many communities where our solutions are currently in place. Including city code software, Comcate solutions are easy to implement and use. Furthermore we’ll work with you to customize software so it’s totally effective.

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