By Mallory Herrmann

The city is preparing to launch a new mobile app to help residents report non-emergency issues and to connect with Lee’s Summit news. LS Connect is expected to publicly launch in December after a few more weeks of testing and a soft launch.

Stephen Marsh, chief technology officer, and Sarah Shore, public works administration manager, gave a presentation on the new tool to city council at their Nov. 6 regular session.

The app will be available for free download on both Apple and Android devices. Users will be able to report common non-emergency issues like potholes, damaged street signs or codes violations. Staff stressed that it is not intended for emergencies and that, while the service will be available to the public 24/7, reports will only be monitored during business hours.

The submission process includes an opportunity to add photos or video and to use GPS to identify the exact location. The app also includes an address search functionality and a portal to report issues on the city’s new website instead. It will also direct users to other agencies where applicable, if an issue needs to be addressed by the Missouri Department of Transportation, Kansas City Power and Light Company or others.

The city hopes that these features will reduce duplicate requests – users will be able to see what has already been reported – and make it easier for city staff to prioritize and track issues. If users create an account through the app, they can also receive email updates on the reports they have made.

The city will also be able to share local news and information through features like push notifications and customizable buttons on the main page of the app. Seasonal news like snow removal and voter information will also be available.

“I love it, we’re getting a lot of nods up here,” Mayor Bill Baird said of the council’s response to the presentation. “This is a good thing.”