Written by Scott Harris, downtown resident.

Written by Scott Harris, downtown resident.

KCMO 3­1­1 is how city residents communicate a request for services to city government. Almost anything can be submitted to 3­1­1. A few popular examples among downtowners include missing street signs, nuisance properties, or unshoveled post-­snow sidewalks.

Submitting an issue to 3­1­1 is simple and response times are generally quick (usually within 2 days).

The city offers several ways to interact with 3­1­1. My personal favorite is Twitter (@KCMO311), but you might prefer to report online or via the handy iOS app. You can also call 3­1­1 (literally dial 3­1­1), but in my experience, this is a less desirable option because it includes phone hold times and you can’t send a photo of an issue. I often see issues while walking around downtown and sending a picture is a great way to improve the accuracy of communication.

In addition to a photo when possible, including as many details as possible in your request helps expedite handling. You should include the following in your 3­1­1 submission:

  1. Location – An address or intersection. If not an issue involving a particular address, then give as much geographical detail as possible (which corner, side of the street, etc.).
  2. Description – What needs the city’s attention? This can be nearly anything, from nuisance properties to broken sidewalks and missing or incorrect street signs.
  3. Contact – Include your contact information so the appropriate city department can contact you with follow-­up questions and to alert you when the issue has been resolved.

After submitting a request to 3­1­1, you’ll receive a case number allowing both you and the city to track your case to resolution. Once again, you can call 3­1­1 with your case number or, better yet, use the handy 3­1­1 status tracker to see where your case stands. You can also follow­-up if you need to share additional information, you’re dissatisfied with 3­1­1’s resolution of your case, or you simply need more information.

Using 3­1­1 helps inform city departments of items requiring their attention. As is often said, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Judicious use helps abate nuisance issues and expedite needed repairs, making for a safer and more attractive downtown for visitors and residents alike.

The 3­1­1 website can also help you with lots of additional topics that don’t require a service request, for example scheduling a bulky ­item trash pickup, finding your regular trash day, accessing water services, and Municipal Court information.