Shavano Park launching texting communication services for residents, merchants

Shavano Park is introducing a TextMyGov service so residents and business owners may instantly receive emergency alerts, report concerns or get answers to specific questions. (Courtesy TextMyGov)
Shavano Park is introducing a TextMyGov service so residents and business owners may instantly receive emergency alerts, report concerns or get answers to specific questions. (Courtesy TextMyGov)

Shavano Park is introducing a TextMyGov service so residents and business owners may instantly receive emergency alerts, report concerns or get answers to specific questions. (Courtesy TextMyGov)

The city of Shavano Park is rolling out a service for residents and businesses to text to reach the local government with concerns or questions, or receive emergency alerts.

Shavano Park on Dec. 6 will publicly debut its TextMyGov program, a cloud-based texting communications service, according to Curtis Leeth, assistant to the city manager.

Leeth briefed the City Council about TextMyGov on Nov. 22. He said a resident or business owner can get started by texting one of the following words to 91896: COSPEmergency, COSPWater, COSPEvents or COSPWatch.

COSPEmergency signs people up for citywide alerts. COSPWater signs people up for city water utility alerts—not those associated with the San Antonio Water System.

COSPEvents signs people up for information about Shavano Park events, such as its upcoming Dec. 4 holiday celebration and Fourth of July activities. COSPWatch signs people up for local neighborhood watch details.



Leeth said residents and merchants may instantly report issues through the TextMyGov service, which accepts images. Here, the system asks the user for basic pertinent information and then directs the user’s report to the appropriate city department for a response.

“If it’s a code complaint, it’s going to go to the police department. If it’s a pothole report, it’s going to go to public works department,” Leeth said.

Additionally, the service allows residents and merchants to use their text-capable phones to get quick answers to questions such as finding the next council meeting agenda or cost to rent the City Hall campus pavilion.

“They don’t have to look all over our website for it. They can text a question, and the system will pick up on keywords, respond and connect you with a staff member,” Leeth said.

He added the staffer would type a response through a web portal, but the response appears as a text on the resident or merchant’s phone.

Leeth said the city has so far preprogrammed answers to more than 25 commonly asked questions, but that more answers will be put into the system as more people begin to use the service.

Leeth said using the free service requires no downloads, and that only normal data rates apply.

Responding to a question from Council Member Maggi Kautz, City Manager Bill Hill said the city would offer a short, free tutorial for residents who would like to use the system.

TextMyGov is a Utah-based software company that has been offering its service for cities and counties nationwide to engage residents via texting.

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