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Manatee County relaunches 311 nonemergency app

The Manatee 311 app helps residents report issues and find answers about their concerns.
The Manatee 311 app helps residents report issues and find answers about their concerns.
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With the apropos date of March 11 approaching, Manatee County representatives say they are officially relaunching their Manatee 311 app, which they say will give residents another option to connect with the county other than dialing the 311 Call Center.

The Manatee 311 app can be used to report potholes, broken street lights, graffiti, abandoned vehicles and more. Those using the app can add photos and the county uses a geofence to direct staff to the exact location of where that photo was taken.

The app also allows users to pay utility bills, sign up for reminders of trash and recycling days, look up information such as evacuation routes and levels, flood zones, polling sites, location of emergency shelters, location of bus stops, location of hospitals and more.

Manatee 311 provides information about parks, preserves, beaches, boat ramps, historical sites, and more.

Marcia Bacon, the supervisor of the Manatee County 311 Call Center, said it now typically takes county employees two days to respond to problems such as potholes and downed signs once they are reported to Manatee 311. 

People can use the 311 app to report potholes. Manatee County Public Works' Myra Prater and Danny Thomas oversee an operation that fills more than 7,000 potholes in a year.
Photo by Jay Heater

Using the 311 Call Center or using the Manatee 311 documents the request.

Communications Division Manager Casey Zempel said the 311 Call Center and Manatee 311 app were rolled out during COVID, and there was never a big push to get people to add the app. But now the county is hoping more people take advantage of it. 

The goal of the 311 Call Center is to streamline responses to the approximately 13,000 requests the county receives from residents per month. 

There are eight full-time operators during the Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. shift at the 311 Call Center. 

Commissioner Kevin Van Ostenbridge said the Manatee 311 app campaign isn’t meant to reduce the number of calls, but to provide an additional channel for citizens to communicate with the county. 

County officials say the app acts as a shortcut. There are eight tabs on its homepage that lead users to different pages within the county’s website. 

Commissioner Amanda Ballard downloaded the app before the relaunch was presented at the commission meeting on Feb. 27. 

“I would encourage everyone to download it because it is super user friendly and super easy,” she said. “For all those basic questions or problems you might have, you can solve them at the touch of a button.” 

Zempel said he can attest to the county's quick response to problems. 

“We were filming a video and tried to get a shot of a pothole,” he said. “By the time we got out there, they’d already filled it up.” 



Lesley Dwyer

Lesley Dwyer is a staff writer for East County and a graduate of the University of South Florida. After earning a bachelor’s degree in professional and technical writing, she freelanced for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Lesley has lived in the Sarasota area for over 25 years.

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