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Community information for Santa Maria easily available with new app

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Santa Maria is the first city on the Central Coast to utilize the Simplicity app, which updates residents with information about what is happening around the city in real-time.

From public safety alerts to events at the public library, the Simplicity app covers it all.

"The library calendar of events is absolutely packed. It's something we've has on our website for many years. This is a really efficient way to know what's happening at the library," said Mark Van de Kamp, City of Santa Maria Public Information Manager.

The app is free to download in the Google Play and Apple App Store.

Once you have downloaded the app, select Santa Maria as your city of residence and then choose which public entities to follow, as well as the update categories in which you are most interested.

From there you can view upcoming events as well as receive important alerts via push notifications.

"In the census, about 76% of Santa Marians identify as Hispanic. It doesn't mean that everyone is Spanish speaking, but we definitely are aware of it," said Mark Van de Kamp.

The app caters to Santa Maria's large Spanish-speaking population by providing its services in both English and Spanish.

"If the city sends out a news release about a road construction project it will be pushed out with everything else and yes they will get it," said Mark Van de Kamp.

CalTrans said this modern technology could help community members to stay better informed about what’s going on on the road.

"They can have information that can tell them about traffic incidents, lane closures, construction work. That'll be a huge benefit to the public," said Jim Shivers, Cal Trans District 5 Public Information Officer.

And the community updates don't stop at traffic.

"As people get more familiar with the app they will see that they can sign up for one, two or all of the categories," said Mark Van de Kamp.