Fall never creeps-up on New Providence’s municipal employees. Through the windows of the New Providence municipal building, they watch a row of trees glisten with snow in winter, come back to life with leaves in spring, languor under the summer sun and turn deep orange, red and yellow before their leaves harden and crisp to the ground in autumn. Lines of trees all over town follow suit.
For all of its beauty, New Providence’s famed fall foliage can lead to a number of problems for the New Jersey borough. A pile of dried fallen leaves in the street can ignite under the normal heat of an automobile. Wet leaves are no less dangerous. Drenched with rainwater, fallen leaves can be as slick as ice, causing slips, falls and car accidents.
This autumn, New Providence has introduced a system that encourages residents to join the borough’s Department of Public Works (DPW) in the safe collection and disposal of fallen leaves. The system is made possible by GovPilot’s comprehensive database, digital forms and automated workflows. Just one week into October, it has been met with an overwhelmingly positive response.
A New Process for New Providence
New Providence’s official website is a bright kelly green, befitting the bucolic mountain town. On the left side of its homepage sits a column listing all of the services available to residents. Nestled between old standards “Garbage & Recycling” and “Library” sits a new service: “Leaf Collection 2016”. This autumn, New Providence citizens have three options for disposing of fallen leaves on their property:
- Residents may place leaves in cans, open containers, or paper bags and place them curbside for early Monday morning collection.
- Residents may request that their landscaper collect and dispose of fallen leaves.
- Last, but not last, residents may purchase a permit to have their leaves vacuumed from the curb by New Providence’s DPW. The permit may be purchased through a GovPilot digital form published on the municipal website at any time of day before the November deadline.
It is hardly surprising that the third option, which manages to be both convenient and cost-effective, is the most popular option, yielding 250 permit applications within less than one week of the leaf vacuuming program’s implementation.
Option #3 is not only convenient and cost-effective for residents. Through its innovative permit-based Leaf Collection system, the borough of New Providence has generated over $13k and counting in revenue and saved immeasurable keystrokes and hours on data entry.
The success of the borough’s permit-based Leaf Collection system is reminiscent of another New Providence-GovPilot collaboration. Six months ago, New Providence published GovPilot digital resident and non-resident parking permit application forms on its municipal website to organize parking at its two train stations.A mere three hours after the ecommerce capable forms debuted, New Providence had generated a whopping $85k and for a short time, ran out of resident parking permits.
The Government Management Platform behind Option #3
Permit issuance is one of many routine government processes enhanced by GovPilot’s government management platform. The platform consists of tools like digital forms, automated workflows and web-based data storage that work together to streamline operations. Option #3 is a prime example of this state-of-the-art system’s potential.
As soon as a New Providence resident applies and pays for a permit to have their leaves vacuumed, the appropriate government employee receives an alert. This is the first step in a workflow peppered with instances of automated communication that keep all involved parties abreast of progress and ensure a speedy permit issuance.
Once in possession of a permit, the resident can rely on the New Providence DPW to vacuum leaves in accordance with the schedule posted on the official website. All data entered into digital forms is stored in GovPilot’s secure, web-based server. Those satisfied residents looking to reapply for the leaf collection service next fall will experience the added convenience of pre-populated digital forms.
GovPilot commends New Providence for embracing the latest technology in its continued quest to engage citizens and streamline operations. The company is proud to play a major role in two of the borough’s recent accomplishments and looks forward to future collaboration.