Tell Wendell, a mobile application developed primarily to help residents have better contact with the town, is giving the Wendell Country Club a free feature spot while the town pinpoints what would be a better fit.
The app, which was officially launched about three weeks ago, currently has several menu items that allow users to explore the town. There are sections for users to see public places, chamber of commerce information and a space for the Wendell Country Club, where users can reserve a tee time.
The reservation page is still within Wendell’s app, but is run by the Golf18Network, a company that helps golf clubs manage tee time reservations.
The town’s IT Administrator Tamah Hughes said the country club, which is not owned or operated by the town, was chosen by PublicStuff, the company that developed and built Wendell’s app.
The country club did not pay to have their business featured on the app, although country club manager Ben Yeargin said he did know users of the town’s app could access the club’s online reservation station from it.
He said it’s part of a larger digital effort the club has undertaken, but putting the option on the town’s app wasn’t a decision made by him, but the company that helped create the online reservation system for the country club.
Hughes said it is just a temporary placeholder and the town did not ask to have that featured. She said as the town sees how the app is used, they will be replacing some menu items with others that make it easier for residents to use.
“We’re still tweaking and fixing it, until it gets used a whole lot, we’re not sure about some of the categories,” she said.
In the planning stages, the town described the app as being one residents could use to report problems around town. The app has space to report problems, but it also provides information for those looking for businesses or landmarks in town.
It also provides a social element, providing users with a map to see where work orders have already been requested.
“We’re trying to be transparent, we’re trying to let everybody see where the issues are,” Hughes said. “I also gives us some feedback to see if there’s an (area with several issues).”
Right now, Hughes said the feature that allows residents to report problems isn’t being used as much as the town would like. They’ve received a handful of complaints but are expecting that to increase as more residents become accustomed to the idea of using the app.
“We want people to use it, that’s why we bought it,” Hughes said. The town spent $3,000 to have PublicStuff develop and build the app.
At this point in the process, Wendell is able to make most changes to the app as they see fit, but will have to rely on PublicStuff for big changes to the app or any major problems with the app’s functions.
Wendell is the first town in eastern Wake County to develop its own app, although Knightdale has floated the idea of pursuing the project in the spring.