June 29, 2016

Partly sunny

Reporting potholes in Wadsworth is a snap with new app

Wadsworth residents wanting to report potholes and other problems to the city now can use pictures and not just words.

The city has a smartphone app that allows residents to send their complaints and concerns directly to city officials, Wadsworth Mayor Robin Laubaugh said.

The “Wadsworth CityLink” app, available on Android and iPhone devices, has a “show and tell” function that allows residents to snap a photo and send it directly to the city — no waiting to leave a voicemail or sending out an email.

“It makes it easy for them,” Laubaugh said during a state of the city update for the Medina County Economic Development Corporation held Thursday morning in Brunswick.

The app was developed by CityLink, which already provides cable, telephone, Internet and electric utility services for the city. The idea was to create an app that every city department can access and use to interact with residents, said Bob Eshelman, Wadsworth’s director of information technology.

Eshelman said the show- and-tell function allows the user to snap a photo of a problem, such as a downed electric line or pothole, and send the photo directly to the city department responsible for the issue.

The photo will be sent immediately along with coordinates of the photo location — as long as the phone user has their GPS activated — and any message the user wants to send.

The app also allows Wadsworth electricity and water customers to check their usage by day, week, month or year, and download the data in spreadsheet form. For customers with programmable thermostats, temperature adjustments can be made using the app.

“I used it personally,” Eshelman said. “When I went on vacation, I meant to turn down the thermostat, and you can do it using the app.”

Another feature of the app is a comparison of electric rates between “right time” pricing, and actual usage pricing packages.

“I think a lot more people would sign up for the right time pricing if they knew it would save them money,” Eshelman said.

Other uses for the app are still in the works. The next added function will be a section of the app that would allow residents to sign up for classes through the Office for Older Adults.

“It’s slowly growing,” Eshelman said. “People are asking about it and learning how to use it.”

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.

The iPhone version of the “Wadsworth CityLink” app is available from iTunes.

The Android version of the “Wadsworth CityLink” app is available at Google Play.

Loren Genson About Loren Genson

Loren Genson was The Gazette's senior reporter. From August 2012 through September 2015, she covered Brunswick city and state and national government. To contact The Gazette, call the managing editor at (330) 721-4065.