Castlegar? There's an app for that!

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
January 25th, 2013

Members of city council’s Green Committee will be attending a webinar Feb. 7 to consider creating a Castlegar ‘app’ for your smart phone.

Councillor Kevin Chernoff said this is but one of many neat ideas council is looking at to enhance service and stewardship on the city’s part.

“A city app would have several advantages,” Chernoff said. “First, it’s a very good tool for community engagement. It’ll allow us to send out notifications for city events, community meetings, much of the same information we put out on |Facebook and Twitter now, but it’ll go straight to your phone.”

But the app would offer so much more than just another announcement venue.

“It’ll actually set up your garbage/recycling schedules for you when you input your address, and remind you with a text message the day before, say, your garbage pick up,” he said. “Depending on what options we choose, it could also tell you dump hours, where you can drop off lawn and garden clippings, everything like that.”

And it gets better – it’s also interactive.

“Residents could report pot holes, burnt-out street lights, etc – you could take a picture of the pot hole, then push a button to geo-tag it, so that Google maps will tell us where it is within a metre. It’s easier, more practical and far more precise than a phone call. Signs down, bylaw infractions – you could report all of that using the app.”

He said this is one of many ideas the Green Committee is delving into to see no opportunities are being missed. They’re aggressively trying to ensure Castlegar gets an electronic recycling centre, Chernoff said, and are considering power-generating turbines for our existing sewage outfall.

The webinar is slated for Feb. 7 and will likely include Chernoff, mayor Lawrence Chernoff, and councillor Deb McIntosh.