By Brandi Makuski
Looking for information on the City of Stevens Point? There’s an app for that.
On the heels of winning an award for website transparency in March, city leaders on Monday announced their newest electronic asset — a city app.
Discussions on creating the app began last December, according to John Quirk, community media manager for the city.
“It was a long process, not because it was complicated, but just because of the way they do things,” Quirk said of CivicPlus, the company that built and supports the city’s website. “They’d send me a mock-up and I’d make a change and send it back, so it was kind of a slow process. Then it had to be submitted to the Google store, so that took some time.”
The app was created because of an increase of users accessing the city’s website via mobile devices, such as smart phone and iPads, according to a news release from the city. The app includes access to local government contacts, a meeting calendar, department pages, ordinances and more.
City bus schedules, special events and garbage collection schedules can also be found just by clicking an icon.
In an email statement, Mayor Mike Wiza said the app was “in keeping with our goals of participation and transparency.”
“Our community media manager has taken some great strides in updating our web presence, and this is just another example,” Wiza wrote. “Look forward to even more enhancements in the months to come.”
The mobile app is the latest in different media sources utilized by the city. The city’s radio station, WSNP-LP, 105.9 FM, debuted last summer. The city also used Facebook and Twitter in addition to its Community TV station, channel 984 on Charter Spectrum.
Quirk said the app cost the city a one-time fee of $2,750 during a half-off sale held by CivicPlus he heard about while attending a conference last year. The city will pay an annual maintenance fee of $1,950, which Quirk said includes updates and 24-hour support. The costs will come from his department’s annual budget, he said.
Plans are also underway to redevelop the city’s website, Quirk said, to make the site more mobile-friendly. That change will come either later this year or sometime next year.
To download the free app, search for “City of Stevens Point” in the App Store or the Google Play Store.