The Terre Haute 311 hotline has answered more than 70 thousand requests since it started in 2010.
The number of calls they answer a day is continually growing. This not only impacts city residents but it is also helping local government.
The subjects vary but the city says having the resource has made a big impact and they consider it an essential part of Terre Haute success.
311 operators’ phones seem to ring non stop from the time they come in, “Oh gosh about 75 times a day,” says 311 operator Robin Drummy, to the time they leave every day. “It rings a lot depending on the season too,” she continues.
The hotline currently answer around 200 calls a day.
“Different requests that we get from individuals that may have different crews that respond, or we respond with a different level of emergency, uhm different equipment that we might need to fill a pothole in the street verses re-grading an alley,” says I.T. director, Brad Speidel.
Those request don’t just come over the phone. Constituents can also file requests via email and on the city website.
“You know 311 is truly one call to City Hall,” says Speidel.
The resource allows City Hall to assign calls within more than 100 different departments to insure the request gets into the correct person’s hands.
“If I have a limb that is blocking a stop sign, we respond really fast to that because that is obviously a safety issue,” says Speidel.
By having Drummy and two other operators answering the 311 hotline it helps residents know their concerns are being addressed.
“So we can kind of explain the situation to them that there is a process and everything takes time,” says Drummy.
As time has passed, 311 has become a more popular number to dial for any question.
Drummy explains, “sometimes it is not something that can go on 311, sometimes it is just a very simple question and they have no idea who can help them.”
“But right, people are concerned and they want to know so it is kind of our obligation to help them,” says Speidel.
Annually, the majority of 311 calls are in regards to large item pick up and removal of brush,tall grass, and limbs
311 not only helps citizens but it also helps the city government better allocate their resources based on the issues that citizens are experiencing.