WARETOWN – Ocean Township residents will soon have the ability to electronically report local issues with potholes and other maintenance issues according to a presentation made at the Township Committee’s most recent meeting.
Township Committee members approved acquisition of the software program earlier this year as a means of streamlining the municipality’s daily operations. The online system includes components that track and perform asset management tasks, as well as update forms.
“We started as a priority for year one with the Department of Public Works, Tax Assessing and the Citizen Reporting Tool,” said Kevin Zelinsky of Remington & Vernick Engineers. “We also have focused on Community Development and Planning and Zoning.”
Christopher Gross, also of Remington & Vernick Engineers, manned the keyboard during the demonstration of the new tool, which maps out the entire community.
“The current client work was in a PDF or hardcopy format,” explained Gross. “We automated the process into a system called Cartegraph.”
When the new program goes live to the public, anyone from the local community can sign on and use the system that allows for problem reports. Registration is not a requirement when it comes to documenting issues.
“Once that happens, the problem is then filtered into the Department of Public Works through Cartegraph,” Gross shared. “They become part of a work order system and can associate any resources or personnel to the issue.”
The reporting tool contains a drop-down menu listing different types of categories, including if there is a dead animal on the street, trash or a pothole.
Although reports can be made anonymously, residents also can supply contact information. Those who supply an email address will first receive a response to acknowledge the report. When the issue is resolved, the system sends out an email to advise the reporter.
Citizens will also have the ability to see if a complaint has already been made on a particular issue. The hope is that this will avoid multiple reports on the same issue as they will show up on a map.
“This all then goes to a second system known as Cartegraph, which is an asset management system,” said Gross. “It integrates any equipment that’s used that the township owns and quantifies them and logs them, while organizing them. It also contacts the proper people involved with the issues.”
Gross explained that the system brings together every department potentially concerned with a project, including zoning, construction, water and the Department of Public Works.
During his demonstration, Gross showed sample Letters of No Interest (LONI) that start off in the Construction Department. There are form checklists as far as open construction permits and open violations, as well as fire certificates.
“All the checks have to be made before the final approval is authorized,” said Gross. “It’s only then that the LONI can be closed.”
Committeman Ken Baulderstone explained that LONIs must be issued by the township for anyone looking to transfer or sell property.
“The system is very user friendly and interactive,” stressed Zelinsky. “It’s very intuitive to make change. A lot of the departments are already telling me that they find it great that it’s customizable.”
The citizen problem reporter runs off the township’s ArcGis online site and should go live this month.