Dear Community,

We’re back! It’s been a while since you heard from us, and while the back story on that has a lot of twists and turns, the short version is that some of our core team members moved away from Lafayette so we had to do a little bit of rebuilding.

The good news is that significant progress has been made since we last spoke. Since you last heard from us, we have received access to a data set from Lafayette Consolidated Government for all of the storm drain locations in Lafayette! This was a major milestone for us and we want to thank LCG for the help in letting us test out the Adopt a Storm Drain project with this subset of data.

Even better. We officially have a working mobile friendly web site! For all you techies out there, the application is based off a previous set of open source code originally written by Code for America and available to others under an open source license commonly referred to as “3-clause BSD.” The application code itself is written in Ruby on Rails, the web application is currently hosted in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud, and uses a PostgreSQL (a.k.a. Postgres) open-source relational database management system. Special kudos to the team at Infascination and their fearless leader Tre King who helped us get this far. We’ve included some screen shots below for you to check out.

Now that we have a working web application, we are in the testing and perfective phases to iron out the kinks of the application. We are currently recruiting a small Citizen User Test (CUT) group to help us out. In order to help us organize and execute this, we’ve gotten the assistance from CGI, which we are really excited about! Folks there are always looking to help push Lafayette forward from a tech perspective.

Lastly, and probably most importantly, we are working on finalizing/stabilizing our community partner strategy. As you would probably guess, sometimes the technology parts of projects like this are “easy.” Having the right long term steward of an application of this type so that it can take root and grow, can be the hardest part. To that end, we are working on lining up the right partners to help with long term sustainability and hope to be able to report out some exciting news on this front in the coming months.

The Adopt a Storm Drain Team