Jackson County reaching residents with new smartphone app

JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – A mid-Michigan county is trying a new approach to reach residents by launching a smartphone application.

Jackson County is taking a big leap into the 21st century with this app.

If you want to find a park, pay a ticket, or report a pothole, there’s an app for that.

Jackson County Information Technology Director Don Bustamante says the app is a result of changing behavior online.

“We found that over 50 percent of our visitors access our website with a mobile device,” Bustamante said.

So Jackson County decided to go where the action is, launching a smartphone app that just went live.

“We’re excited about the fact that this app represents a big leap forward for Jackson County,” Bustamante said.

There’s a lot you can do with the app.

News updates and calendars can help you stay on top of important events, programs, and government meetings.

“It provides the ability for citizens to sign up for either email newsletters or text messages,” Bustamante said.

If you’re having trouble finding a county park or golf course, the app has a GPS program that gives you directions.

Gone are the days of waiting in long lines to pay taxes and fines.

The app allows you to make payments to the county from anywhere.

And if you want the county to take care of a problem like blight or a pothole, snap a picture and send it in.

“Ultimately, it can be used to report any concern the citizen would like to report to the county,” Bustamante said.

The county hopes this app leads to a new kind of engagement in local government.

“It can provide that kind of flexibility and excitement for folks to learn more about their government,” Bustamante said. “Providing this new technology opens the door to additional features that might become available in the future.”

The app also features access to 211, county job postings, and contractor bids.

Search for “Jackson County Michigan” in your phone’s app store to download the free app.

It’s available for Android and iPhone.

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