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It was a year ago today when Evanston officials launched the city’s 311 service.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says the service, one of his favorite projects, has been a big success, taking nearly 135,000 calls in its first year and fielded nearly 21,000 requests for service.

The highest daily call volumes came as a result of big wind storms last summer — with a peak of 1,328 calls last July 11.

The most common request for service is for a special garbage pickup. There’ve been 1,755 of those. That’s followed by 1,714 requests for building permit inspections and 891 reports of broken parking meters.

But not all the requests for information are ones the 311 staffers are quite prepared to answer. One said, “I had a caller asking about the annual Labor Day Rodeo in Evanston.” Turns out the caller was trying to reach that other Evanston — the one in Wyoming.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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