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      McAllen re-routing calls with new program

      McAllen is testing a new program called 311. It will help direct calls to the city to the appropriate person.

      Residents will now be able to get to the right person in just one call.

      The 311 Call Center re-routes non-emergency calls to this four-person team.

      Neo Canales with the City of McAllen said the system will help track complaints and resolve them faster.

      Here we have people with a lot of experience who have been around and know their area very well, Canales said. I have been here for 21 years and so someone calls us and says ~I need help with this. TM ~Hey you know what, I got an answer for you. TM"

      The program is already being used by major cities like New York.

      "The issue is we are getting bigger and we are not getting any smaller, Canales said. Some places in the county that are but we are not and we are going to have to deal with that."

      Officials want to expand the program by adding a mobile app.

      The app would allow residents to report or make requests using a smart phone or the web.

      "We crawling now, we figured out stuff, we haven't spent any extra money, we tried to do it the smart way. Later on if there is any expendetures what we have done so far, is are track record is, we look for the best thing at the lowest cost."

      The system also monitors when a complaint is resolved and notifies the complaining resident. Residents can start using the call center by dialing 681-3111.

      As of now, the call center takes nearly 500 calls a day.