Grounds-worker Frank Coogan (left) and light equipment operator Lonnie Johnson of Covington’s Public Works Department trimmed branches from a street-side tree that were causing a problem. The concern was sent in by a citizen using the City’s new iWorQ Service Request tool.
COVINGTON, Ky. - Covington is encouraging its residents to use an online tool and phone app to report infrastructure problems like potholes and broken parks equipment.
The City unveiled the iWorQ Service Request App a little more than two months ago as part of a broader effort to modernize how work orders are assigned and tracked within its Public Works Department.
Public Works Director Rick Davis said that on an internal basis, the iWorQ software is proving a huge success, increasing efficiency, saving time, improving accountability, and allowing the Department to pull data easier and keep track of equipment and employees on a real-time basis.
“It’s working so much better than the old system,” Davis said.
Unfortunately, on an external basis, after a burst of activity when the iWorQ app went live in June, residents aren’t using the tool to its full benefit.
Of the 1,507 work orders assigned to Public Works employees in the two months from June 11 to Aug. 11, only 44 came from citizens through the online Citizen Portal. In comparison:
- 730 came from citizens via phone.
- 294 came from citizens via email.
- 439 came from City Hall staff or other internal sources.
“They’re still in the habit of picking up the phone and calling in a problem,” Davis said.
Phone calls, answering machine messages, and emails all require a Public Works employee to transcribe or take notes and then fill out a work order request, Davis said, taking time and increasing the chance of mistakes.
Under the online tool or phone app, residents can report a problem and fill out the work order themselves using their phone or computer. The phone app also allows residents to take a picture and upload with their request, reducing confusion and narrowing down locations, he said.
The iWorQ tool also allows residents to track their requests, which reduces frustration and increases accountability.
“iWorQ makes it a whole lot easier to get those work requests directly from them,” he said. “We encourage residents to use this tool.”
“Problems” that can be reported include potholes, crumbing curbs and sidewalks, loose or clogged sewer grates, fallen tree branches or leaning trees, burned-out street lights, broken parks equipment, and damaged signs.
The City hopes eventually to expand the software so residents can report code enforcement-related complaints.
- Residents can sign up for the system by downloading the iWorQ Service Request application from the app store on their phone or by going to www.talktomycity.com/Cov01. The “agency code” is Cov01.
- Or they can access the portal through a “City of Covington/Public Works Service Request” icon on the City’s website, which can be found HERE.
- Residents have two options in using the app to report a problem: Create a free user-specific account or make a request as “a guest.” Residents who create their own accounts and file more than one request will see a list of their requests over time, along with trackable work request numbers.
- Actually creating the work order requires just answering a few basic questions and submitting the request.
- Along with the app, Covington has created an accompanying email account, firstname.lastname@example.org, that is linked to the work order system.
“We’ve made it as easy as possible for residents to tell my Department about work that needs to be done,” Davis said. “Now we just need them to use it.”