County’s 311 Call System Marks Six-month Anniversary  

Six months after Montgomery County’s 311 online and telephone information system launched on June 17, calls coming into the system continue to increase and peaked in August with almost 57,000 calls received.  The 311 web portal, which allows residents to find answers and check on the status of service requests, has consistently averaged 25,000 views per month.

A recent survey of hundreds of 311 users showed about 75 percent of users satisfied with the time it took to reach a Customer Service Representative.  Seventy-two percent were satisfied or extremely satisfied with the handling of their call.  The survey showed 75 percent satisfied or extremely satisfied with their overall 311 experience.

The MC311 Customer Service Center operates Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The self-service website -- www.montgomerycountymd.gov/311 -- is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  About 30 County government “information and referral” phone numbers are now answered directly by MC311.  All other County lines continue to be accessed directly.  Trained representatives who speak Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and French are available at MC311, as is a language interpretation service for other languages.  A TTY line is available at 240-773-3556.

Working with the local phone company providers, Montgomery County has succeeded in including six local telephone exchanges not included by the companies in the original coverage design.  Customers with exchanges 299, 365, 469, 765, 676 and 983 can now reach the 311 call center when using their land line.

Persons outside of Montgomery County may access the service by calling 240-777-0311.

Learn more about the types of calls received from press release.

Tax Volunteers Needed

The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services’ Community Action Agency is mobilizing its coalition of public agencies, nonprofits and community volunteers to support the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) partnership for 2011. VITA is an IRS-supported program delivering tax help to low-to moderate-income people (generally, under $49,000).

You can assist Montgomery County families by volunteering four or more hours a week during tax season, from late January to mid-April to serve as tax preparers, greeters, screeners and interpreters.  Flexible hours are available at convenient locations in East Silver Spring/Takoma Park, Gaithersburg, Rockville and Wheaton. Free training is provided on-site and online, with certification as a tax preparer by the IRS upon successful completion.

To volunteer, call 240-777-1123 or email Taunya.Johnson@montgomerycountymd.gov.

For more “free tax” volunteer opportunities, visit Maryland CASH Campaign, www.mdcash.org and Montgomery County’s RSVP/AARP Tax-Aide Program, www.montgomerycountymd.gov/mcgtmpl.asp?url=/Content/Volunteer/RSVP.asp

Be in the Know When It Snows        

The Division of Highway Services (Dept. of Transportation) has a handy guide that explains the County’s snow removal action plan and lists useful snowstorm contacts. Entitled “When It Snows (pdf),” the newly updated brochure also contains information on Do’s and Don’ts for residents, the County’s sidewalk clearing law, potholes, and sources of information during a storm.

Local History Coming Alive: Heritage Montgomery Kicks off Commemoration of the Civil War Sesquicentennial

To mark the beginning (in November 2010) of the County’s commemoration of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, the Heritage Tourism Alliance of Montgomery County (Heritage Montgomery) has produced a 32-page brochure entitled “Life in a War Zone: A Guide to the Civil War in Montgomery County, Maryland, 1861-1865.”

The brochure is designed to serve as a guide to locations throughout the County with Civil War significance. It details life and events in 14 locations around the County and includes a map keyed to Civil War trail markers in each location.

Limited copies of the brochure are available by calling 301-515-0753 or emailing director@heritagemontgomery.org

Heritage Montgomery is producing -- as an accompanying piece to the brochure --  a documentary video entitled, Life in a War Zone: Montgomery County during the Civil War. It will bring to life some stories of the Civil War years in Montgomery County. The video and a companion CD of Civil War music will be available in the spring.

Both the brochure and video will be available on the website in the coming months.

The Heritage Tourism Alliance of Montgomery County (Heritage Montgomery) is an initiative created by county leaders and state officials to raise the profile of the area’s heritage, ensuring that residents and visitors alike understand and value the County’s past.  The non-profit organization is dedicated to helping Montgomery County use its heritage to develop tourism while protecting and promoting its cultural, historical and natural resources

For more about the Heritage Tourism Alliance of Montgomery County, visit www.HeritageMontgomery.org.

CATEGORIES: Worth Noting
POSTED AT: Tuesday, January 04, 2011 | 3:00:00 AM |
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