Dial 3-1-1 for City Services

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Dial 3-1-1 for City Services

Posted: 08/02/2005
Mayor Bill Haslam announced today that residents can now call just one telephone number - 311 - to access information about services provided by the City of Knoxville.

"One number, one call is what our new 311 customer service center is all about," said Mayor Haslam. "City residents can call that number to check on services, file a complaint or get an answer to a question. You just need to dial 3-1-1 and help is on the way."

"311 is not only city residents easy-to-use direct line to Knoxville city government, this new customer service center will help us improve communication among departments, reduce response time to residents' requests, and ensure services are delivered efficiently."

The 311 center's hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The center's official opening today culminates a year-long city-wide implementation process that included purchasing new computer hardware and software, and then working with city staff to create a database of information for service representatives to access.
The 311 Center began May 5 answering the Public Service Department's service request line, which citizens dialed to report problems like potholes, abandoned vehicles, and overgrown lots.
Since then, other City departments' telephone lines have been gradually transferred to the new center - including Municipal Court.

Currently the center is fielding about 750 calls per day - more than 27,000 telephone calls since it's been in operation - and that number is expected to increase as residents become familiar with the 311 service.

The 311 telephone number was activated in Knox County last week by BellSouth and many cellular telephone providers. Businesses with other telephone service providers may need to check with their provider to access 311.

When citizens call 311, a customer service representative will enter their service request into the City's advanced tracking system and submit it to the appropriate City department immediately. All requests for service will have a tracking number so customers can check the status and get updates on their request.The 311 system can also provide City managers with detailed reports that includes such information as response times, action taken, maps and other data to assist them in better deploying resources and to make the delivery of City services more efficient.

311 also provides citizens with information about events occurring in Knoxville, including Boomsday, Christmas in the City and Festival on the Fourth.

About 30 cities and counties across the country have implemented 311 in various forms to handle non-emergency calls since the Federal Communications Commission approved the number's use in 1997.

Implementing a 311 system was one of the promises Mayor Haslam made during his campaign and it's one strategy to fulfill the administration's goal of delivering city services you can count on at a competitive price.