Officials hear about request management system

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NAUGATUCK — A new computerized system that officials are considering would make it easier for citizens to suggest repairs for potholes and other nagging problems that the borough is responsible for fixing.

On Tuesday, officials heard a presentation from QScend Technologies of Waterbury about its citizen request management system that would allow citizens a means to submit service requests online or over the phone. The computerized system would allow residents to track their complaints, interact with staff and find answers in a timely fashion, said Keith LeBeau, president and CEO of QScend Technologies.

“It really builds efficiency and improves civic service,” he said.

The system would act as a help desk for residents. It would take complaints over the phone or online from residents and make sure the information gets to the correct person who is responsible for solving that problem — for example, the street department would receive complaints about potholes.

The system tracks the calls to make sure they are followed up on. The system gets back to the person who originally filed the complaint to let them know that it has been solved or when it will be solved.

Waterbury has the same system, as do about 40 other municipalities in Connecticut, including Bridgeport and Danbury. Waterbury has a tab on its website where residents are directed to a place to make requests. The city also has a 311 number that logs concerns and a smartphone “app” where people can comment. Naugatuck could get the same amenities if it chooses.

If Naugatuck officials approve the system, it would get rid of a lot of wasted work time, Mayor Robert Mezzo said. Currently, he said, several different departments often get complaints about the same concern and they all send people to respond.

The new system would aggregate all of the complaints into one database that all borough departments could access. Department heads would communicate with each other about the status of those calls, and that information would be stored into the system for all department heads to see.

The system would cost less than $20,000 to start, said borough Controller Bob Butler said. He did not have the cost for each additional year. LeBeau said it could be anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 depending on whether the borough or QScend stores the information online.

Borough officials made no decision on whether to approve the system Tuesday night, though most members of the Joint Boards of Mayor and Burgesses and Finance said they like the idea. Officials will consider it during the upcoming budget season.

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