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City marks five years of 311 service

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Evanston city officials today celebrated the fifth anniversary of its 311 call center for city information and services.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz, who pushed to launch the service shortly after he arrived in Evanston, says service requests have more than doubled since the phone line went into operation — from 16,840 in 2011 to 35,246 last year.

Top requests include special trash pickups and building permits.

Bobkiewicz called 311 "a game changer," increasing efficiency, accountability, convenience and accessibility.

Ten people work at the 311 center — including four who've been there from the beginning.

In addition to the phone line — 311 within Evanston or 847-448-4311 elsewhere — the 311 staff can also be reached by text message, online, through the "Evanston 311" mobile app and on Facebook and Twitter.

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