The city of Allentown is taking steps toward establishing a 311 System.
At a morning news conference today, Mayor Ed Pawlowski released the results of a feasibility study that is the first step toward establishing a 311 Center at the city’s 911 Center site on W. Fairmount Street. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has mandated that, as of June 2019, the city 911 system is to be decommissioned with the emergency calls receive and dispatch transferred to Lehigh County’s 911 system. That transition is currently being coordinated/negotiated between the city and the county.
The transfer of 911 (Emergency Call Handling) frees-up applicable city facilities, related equipment and other human and financial resources creating an opportunity to significantly improve customer (citizen) services and more fully develop inner and intra departmental efficiencies through a Customer Relations Management (CRM) / 311 (Non-Emergency Call Handling) system.
The 311 system will make city government more responsive and accountable to Allentown citizens and is cost effective.
“Since taking office, I have been very interested in ways to improve our customer/citizen relations,” said Mayor Ed Pawlowski. “With the transfer of the 911 system, the perfect opportunity is coming our way. Our next step is to share this feasibility study widely and lay the groundwork for design and implementation.”
The feasibility study concludes that the system can be provided with no additional tax burden on city residents. Savings from city funding of the 911 center will pay for the 311 center and return approximately $200,000 to the General Fund.
A city discovery team began looking at the 311 issue in April 2016. Members of the discovery team toured 311 Center sites in Philadelphia and Hampton, Va.
Among other things, a design and implementation study would determine the specific need, scope, integration and cost of applicable Data Hardware and Software. In most cases the costs are often amortized over time and incorporated into the annual operating budgets through licensing and leasing fees.
Preliminarily, it is anticipated that the Allentown center would be in operation Monday through Friday for 10-12 hours per day utilizing nine full time or nine full time equivalent employees.
Attachments: Overview Presentation, Feasibility Study