From Chevy Chaser Magazine Editor’s Column May
3-1-1 Gets a 10
by Kristin Ingwell Goode
This story originally appeared in the May 2007 issue of Chevy Chaser Magazine, a Smiley Pete publication.
Have you had the pleasure of utilizing the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government’s 3-1-1 system? No, I am not dividing 911 into three parts. By dialing 311on your home or cellular phone or the original 425-2255 number, you reach what is still known as LexCall, essentially information central for the LFUCG.
Our city government isn’t perfect, and it has its shares of woes and challenges, but this is one stellar service as far as I’m concerned.
Your Herbies and Rosies get missed on your regular trash day? Call 311. See an animal who met its unfortunate demise in traffic? The folks at 311 will send the proper division out to dispatch of it.
Here’s the kicker. When I’ve called to report or complain about the types of issues above, the operators I’ve spoken with have thanked me. Then I’ve thanked them, and we’ve had a Mac ‘n’ Tosh-type exchange (thank you, no thank you…), but honestly, I have been so impressed by the level of courtesy exhibited by the folks on the other end of the phone and the resulting service that I just can’t say enough about the program.
To get the nuts and bolts facts about LexCall, I called, well, LexCall, and spoke with Pat Tatum, customer service supervisor. LexCall has been in operation since 1997. Its eight customer service specialists are available 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and receive an average of 800-900 calls per day. If you leave a message after hours and request a return call, one will be made the following business day.
I learned something else about LexCall. You can also use its services online. By visiting http://lexcall.lfucg.com/, you can start or track a service order. For example, if you call to have a street light bulb replaced and a week later, it is still out, with the incident number, you can track progress online or by phone through LexCall. (Every time a call comes into LexCall, a service order is opened.)
Here are some other things LexCall can do:
- Provide directions to or phone numbers for organizations like the Red Cross or Social Security office.
- Help you find a good home for used items with a non-profit organization that accepts donations.
- Report a pothole.
- Direct you to the proper government division to answer questions about code enforcement, public safety, recycling, etc.
- Answer questions about our city in English, Spanish, and German.
- Help out-of-towners navigate our city.
Our city has lots of divisions and lots of resources if we just know how to find them. The folks at LexCall can point you in the right direction.