The city of Steamboat Springs is spreading the word to residents on how it can better answer questions and send out information.
Last week, the city started mailing brochures and publicly promoting CityLink, a interactive voice response system that can answer frequently asked questions and fax information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The CityLink system has been running for about four months, but the city wanted to make sure it was operating smoothly before marketing it to the public.
In a presentation to the Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday, City Deputy Manager Wendy DuBord said CityLink does not replace calling city hall and talking to a live person.
"It addresses another service. It gives the public 24 hours, seven days a week access," she said.
CityLink can be accessed by calling 871-7000 or visiting the Web site www.steamboat-springs.net and clicking on CityLink or going to www.citygovlink.net.
The CityLink service has more than 180 script messages for the city's most frequently asked questions and basic information on department programs and services.
The program also has eight to 10 fax-back options where callers can punch in their fax number and receive a fax copy for information such as City Council agendas and sales-tax licenses.
When calling CityLink an automated service will come on asking callers to punch in the four-digit code for the message they want to hear.
If callers have a question about adult athletic programs, for example, they would punch in the number 1254 and listen to a recorded message about what programs are offered, how to receive schedules and registration information and how to contact the Parks and Recreation department.
The introductory message also gives a list of categories. A listing of the categories and the corresponding four-digit numbers will be available in the brochures mailed to residents and available at city facilities, the Bud Werner Memorial Library, the city's Web site and through the automatic fax-back option.
CityLink has been in the works for more than two years. The City Council decided during its annual retreat in July 2001 to go forward with an interactive communication and customer-service system.
CityLink cost the city about $20,500, which mostly came out of the 2002 budget. The Orton Family Foundation funded $5,000 of the contract so it could be coordinated with yampavalley.info.
DuBord told the council the system would allow the city to run reports to see where the city has the most complaints, comments or questions. CityLink also will help the city meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for the provision of information and services in voice and Internet formats.
"What we are hoping is people will find it helpful," DuBord said.
Interactive voice response systems are used in more than 500 governments across the country and the Tele-Works system, which the city is using, also is found in Summit County, Westminster, Grand Junction and Aspen.