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New mobile app ‘Fairfield FYI’ launches with hopes of improved communication

Feb. 16—The City of Fairfield will debut a new mobile application this spring designed to improve communication with residents.

Fairfield FYI will replace the little-used Fairfield On The Go app, which the city didn’t promote due to its rudimentary nature and clunky-ness, said Fairfield Development Services Director Greg Kathman and Neighborhood Development Manager Samantha Brandenburg.

“It existed, but not very well,” Kathman said of the current mobile app that will be sunset by the city’s web host Civic Plus.

When the city redesigned its website in 2016, it came as part of a package that had a citizen request tracker through the website and a mobile app, which was named Fairfield On The Go though it wasn’t branded as such.

“It was kind of an add-on Civic Plus had, and we got it for very little cost when we updated our website,” Kathman said.”

But still, several hundred people have used the citizen request tracker and the mobile app over the past, which includes more than 1,100 people have either downloaded the app or created a profile on the civic request tracker.

“It’s not a huge number, but it’s not an insignificant number,” Kathman said.

City officials believed a branded mobile app was needed and contacted the company See Click Fix, which is considered an industry leader. Coincidentally, the Civic Plus purchased See Click Fix, and Brandenburg negotiated a one-year, no-cost trial for the city. The city spent a couple of months setting up the Fairfield FYI and will launch this March.

“We also wanted to simplify communications and provide timely metrics,” said Brandenburg, adding that it will provide residents a voice and a sense of elevated customer service, and demonstrated more transparency between the government and Fairfield residents.

“It’s an engagement tool,” said Brandenburg. “It is not just a system that citizens can tell us what’s wrong. They are not the only ones giving information. We can also provide them with information.”

Fairfield FYI will allow residents to lodge complaints, such as zoning or property maintenance issues, as well as make various requests and provide feedback to the city. In turn, the city will be able to communicate directly with residents by providing news of road closing, maintenance and other types of messages through the app.

Fairfield FYI can allow people to pay utility bills, and seasonally, will be able to help file local taxes.

The goal is to have 5% of the city’s 44,900 residents download the app, and those who have downloaded Fairfield On The Go will be directed to Fairfield FYI. In September and August, the city will have a review of the mobile app to see if the city should purchase it.

“It’s just easy, nice things to remind you what’s going on,” Brandenburg said. “It’s a two-way communication street. It’s for your information as a resident, but also for the city.”