Web app allows Duluthians to report non-emergency problems

[anvplayer video=”5098575″ station=”998130″]

Duluth residents upset about a pothole, unplowed street, or other non-emergency issue now have a new online option to report the problem to the city.

The Resident Problem Reporter allows people to report issues with the goal of increasing accountability. It can be accessed using web browsers on desktop computers and mobile devices at https://duluthmn.gov/report.

The process begins with a map that allows people to see if the problem has already been reported. If the problem has already been submitted, residents can click an "agree" rather than reporting the same issue again.

To report a new problem, the web application allows people to pick from four main categories: snow and ice, roads, storm water/drainage, and water/sewer. From there, you can pick from a total of 31 different categories, including "other" for items that don’t fit into any of those listed, and click on the map to indicate the location of the problem.

People also have the option of uploading a photo of the problem.

A WDIO News test of the system found that reports cannot be edited once submitted, so users should check twice to confirm the information is complete and the map location is correct before hitting the "report it" button.

In a news release, Mayor Emily Larson said the new web application was created with a lot of work and input from city staff.

"This application will bring transparency in how staff work to address problems while showing the community that we value their input and time to report problems in their neighborhoods and our community. I am proud to launch the Resident Problem Reporter and eager to hear the experience that residents have in using this new application," Larson said.

The website asks residents to submit a phone number and email address. People who report a problem will receive a confirmation email and followup messages about work towards solving the problem, and will also have an option to rank customer service throughout the process.

A city news release said the web application will bring a "high level of openness and accountability to the community services that the City provides."

The city said the app is the first step towards Larson’s pledge to create a 311 non-emergency hotline for reporting non-emergency issues. The 311 phone number is expected to roll out later this year.

Emergencies such as downed power lines or downed trees should still be reported by calling 911 for immediate attention.