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CARES Act Funds meet new citizen expectations for digital services in Tavares, FL

Tavares, FL 32778, USA
CivicPlus
In Collaboration With

Government Champion

Clerk Recorder's Office

Cost

Zero upfront cost to local government

Project Status

Operational since 2021

More Reading

Case Study

At a Glance

Tavares, FL has been working on modernization for over a decade. Once they received CARES Act funding, they took the opportunity to address increased citizen interest in digital tools and improve their citizen engagement.

Problem Addressed

Since 2010, Tavares city officials have been working on projects to reinvigorate business and tourist activity in the downtown area. The efforts were kicked off with the Tavares Seaplane Base licensing, marking Tavares “America’s Seaplane City.” Since then, the city has listened to citizens and focused on boosting downtown as an entertainment hub and natural stopping point for flights headed to the Caribbean.

But Tavares citizens have new expectations for personal digital experiences with their local government, and Tavares wanted to take this into consideration when designing its rebranding and planning out how to utilize its CARES Act funding.

Tavares, Florida used/is using CivicPlus’ Civic Engagement Platform to address this/these challenge(s).

Solution(s) Used

The City of Tavares has paced its adoption of smart technology in tandem with its citizens’ evolving expectations and the emergence of new technologies. The city’s strategy has revolved around diversification of its solutions to maximize adoption and success. With its recently acquired CARES Act funding, the city was able to meet citizens’ increased need for civic technology while increasing citizen engagement with the CivicPlus Civic Experience platform. Tavares has since been able to employ CivicPlus’s website services, 311 functionality, CRM, and agenda management.

“We’ve been an early adopter of new communication technologies emerging for citizen engagement,” said a representative of Tavares. “From the time the Internet became widely available, we’ve always looked ahead—to our website, to social media, to mobile—we’ve been extremely forward-thinking in how we have embraced new technologies.”

The improved 311 functionality revamped the city’s citizen request management capabilities. Citizens were able to file complaints and suggestions via smartphone or computer instead of making the drive to city hall. With the onset of COVID-19, officials had to adapt quickly to the online world. They were able to stream meetings directly on their website and tie bookmarks between their agenda and recorded videos, making the meetings accessible and comprehensible.

Outcomes

  1. An improvement in citizen experiences, with the ability to file complaints online, allowing government officials an increased sense of organization.
  2. A collaborative solution that facilitates constructive conversations between government officials and citizens.
  3. Quick adoption of online meetings, to best include citizens and increase transparency and participation following the onset of COVID-19.

Lessons Learned

  1. The City of Tavares understood the importance of responsible, citizen-centric fund utilization and used the CARES act to foster citizen engagement.

Who Should Consider?

Cities and counties that have a need to enable online meetings for staff and live and recorded video streaming for citizens.

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