A survey last year found 94 percent of Papillion residents have a mobile phone, with more than a third of residents reporting owning only a cellphone and a fifth of residents owning a landline but describing their cellphone as their primary phone.
To better reach those residents, the City of Papillion launched new Apple iOS and Google Android applications during Papillion Days and has been focused on fixing any bugs as more residents download the new app.
Papillion Mayor David Black said he hopes residents with smartphones will download the app and use it to better connect with their neighbors.
“It will be a simple way to stay up to date with some of the city activities,” Black said.
The app includes a calendar, an easy way to submit service requests and several directories to connect with City Hall and local businesses.
“It’s got a fairly comprehensive – I won’t say complete – business listing,” Black said. “People might be surprised by the local businesses that are in Papillion that they can support.”
The hope is that residents who want a particular product or service, say ordering a pizza, could check the app to see if they have a local option. Each time a resident does that, it creates economic opportunity for the city.
That builds up Papillion’s business environment, which ultimately leads to more sales tax to help keep property taxes under control.
“If people can understand the businesses that are here and support them, that idea of buy local, that’s sales tax,” Black said. “That’s businesses saying I want to be in Papillion because Papillion supports its businesses.”
The list isn’t comprehensive because Papillion doesn’t have a business licensing requirement like many other cities, Black said. That means city officials don’t have a list of all the city’s businesses, but the app features the best list available to City Hall.
“It’s going to be an evolving list,” Black said. “This is not a move to a business licensing process.”
Black said any business not listed, or businesses with incorrect information listed, should contact the Mayor’s Hotline at 402-827-1111 or visit papillion.org. The hotline can also be accessed via the app’s City Directory section.
The city is not the only local government offering services on mobile devices. Omaha has its own app where users can report the Omaha Public Power District has an app for reporting power outages and street light outages.
The Papillion-La Vista School District also offers an app for parents that makes services from the district’s website, paplv.org, easier to access.
That app includes news, a calendar, access to grades, directory information, lunch menus and other features.
Springfield Plattevew Community Schools also offers an app. Sarpy County’s four other municipalities don’t yet offer anything for smartphones, although both La Vista and Bellevue are in the planning stages of developing apps.
“We have been researching a mobile app and have had a number of meetings about this with different companies that offer this service,” Bellevue Community Relations Coordinator Phil Davidson said. “I am currently working on trying to get it included in next year’s budget.”
La Vista’s website, cityoflavista.org, is already mobile-friendly, said La Vista Community Relations Coordinator Mitch Beaumont. The city is also working on redesigning the existing website.
“Any resident pulling up our website on their phone will see a version optimized for that format,” Beaumont said. “We are proposing funding in the next fiscal year budget for the development of an app to compliment our redesigned website. ”
To download the City of Papillion’s new app, search for “Papillion” in your smartphone’s app marketplace. The school district’s app is available by searching “Papillion-La Vista Public Schools.”