Have you ever been on your way to pay your city of Lodi utility bill when you realized you have no idea how much you owe? The city has an app for that.
Lodi recently unveiled a new application that will let you check your bill from your phone.
The city’s Information Systems division designed it, and plan to expand it to other phones as well as add on features in the future, said Steve Mann, the division manager.
“We thought it would be a good customer service to modify or adapt the online page to the iPhone. This makes it a little bit easier because we know people don’t drag their computers around with them,” Mann said.
The application allows customers to review their bills, and the information is as current as the previous business day. To download the app, open iTunes and type “city of Lodi” into the store.
About a dozen people have already downloaded it, Mann said.
One online reviewer named “Lod1man” gave the app five stars, and said it is a good starting point. But the reviewer also said the app should allow customers to pay their bill or print it.
Those are features the city is considering and could come in the future, Mann said. The app eventually might show residents their water or electric usage, he said.
He also hopes the city can expand the app to other phones, like Droid, he said.
“We are doing as much as we can with our current staffing, and that’s a totally different development environment, and something we have to learn,” Mann said.
During the past couple of years, the city of Lodi has embraced technology, especially social media. The city has a blog, a Twitter account and a Facebook page. The Lodi Police Department also has a Twitter account.
The city is continuously working on improving and expanding its online presence, because that is what people expect, Mann said.
“People are adapting their lives more and more to technologies like Facebook, Twitter and the iPhone. We believe that good government is customer-centric, and we try to provide the best customer service that we can,” he said.
Councilman Larry Hansen owns an iPhone, but said he has not had a chance to check out the new app. He said it will be another way to utilize technology and provide easy access for customers.
“I’m looking forward to the day when you can turn a heater on and off with your iPhone. That technology is right around the corner, but we just don’t have it yet,” he said.