An easier and more convenient way to get in touch with city services is in the works.
The City of Grande Prairie is applying to the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission for approval to implement a 311 service. This is meant to give residents a more simple to reach the city about programs, services, and non-emergency issues. Residents can call 311 for information about services, make complaints, or report problems such as graffiti or road damage.
Cities such as Calgary and Edmonton have long-since established the service. Each 311 is localized to whichever city it is attached to, ensuring residents of one community don’t accidentally contact another city. During the Corporate Services Committee meeting on August 18th, Councillor Kevin O’Toole said he was excited to finally see progress move forward on establishing the service.
“I know that this department has improved over the years, but this could make it to where we need to have it,” says O’Toole.
Grande Prairie Mayor Bill Given says establishing the service in the city has been on the back burner for some time.
“The city has been working over the last number of years to, really, try to simplify the customer experience for people who are looking to interact with municipal services,” he says. “It is essentially one short phone number that allows residents to contact the City and access a wide range of non-emergency municipal services.”
The current system that exists for residents to access city services and programs is the Citizen Contact Centre, which is considered an improvement over what was previously in place, but is not as streamlined as a 311 service.
Given adds, it would be much more convenient both for residents, as well as those passing through. The intent is to implement all relevant city services under the umbrella of the 311 in a single update.
“311 will be an improvement in that it is a much shorter number, easier to remember, and is becoming an established standard for accessing municipal services across North America,” Given explains.
More details will be made available if the city receives approval from the CRTC.