South Burlington working out bugs with city’s mobile app

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A few bugs have surfaced with the City of South Burlington’s new mobile app, but officials say they are working with the Canadian developer to have them ironed out over the next few days.

The South Burlington Consensus launched in early June after a pilot program with Toronto-based developer Consensus AI.

According Coralee Holm, city director of community engagement and innovation, the Consensus app has more than 700 verified users.

To become verified, users have to prove they live in South Burlington by taking a picture of your driver’s license.

But that verification method is on the way out, Holm said at Monday’s City Council meeting.

“When you open some other app, like Yelp or something, it says, ‘I want to know your location. Is it OK to know your location so we can serve you up appropriate information?'” she said. “That’s what will be used in the next release that’s coming out, so you won’t be asked for your identification.”

At least for the moment, you don’t even need to go through that process to use the app, but it may not always remain that way.

“The questions that I’m putting out, I’m not saying that you have to be a verified user, but again, this is a test,” Holm said. “There are a couple on here that were asked in the past where you needed to be a verified user.”

New questions are still going up, including one on Monday about what features residents want the city’s new rec center.

Former City Council president Rosanne Greco didn’t originally sign up to get notifications when a new question goes online.

“I would now like them, because otherwise, you have to keep looking at it. ‘Is there a new one? Is there a new one?’ And you get tired of looking,” she said. “So, how can somebody who didn’t sign up for notifications now get them?”

Greco added that at least sometimes, when you submit an answer to a question, your answer will show as pending in the app. The City Council’s vice-chair has noticed it, too.

“The second set of questions, it shows as pending,” Meaghan Emery said. “And as long as you wait and try to confirm…”

“It didn’t do it,” Holm said.

Holm says Consensus AI is preparing to update the app sometime later this week to solve these issues. She suggests downloading that new version on Friday or this weekend and reinstalling the app.

You can download the app by clicking here.

South Burlington city officials also offered an update Monday night on the project to build a new city hall, library and community center on Market Street. The city has just started the permitting process, and if all the remaining steps take place on schedule, construction should be complete in the late winter or early spring of 2021.

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