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311 Goes Dark After Dark

Charlotte's city information line, 311, underwent a change over the weekend : No more live operators after dark. Have a water bill you're upset with? Call 311. Confused about the new recycling bins? Yup - 311. The City of Charlotte has increasingly directed residents to 311 with questions or concerns about city services. After a brief recorded greeting, callers are met by a live operator 24-hours a day. Or they were until this weekend when the city ended its live 311 staffing after 8 p.m. Now, callers who ring 311 overnight will get an automated message and instructions to find more information on the city's website. There are two exceptions: calls to the police and utilities department will still go through to a human being. But the rest will get voice mail. City Manager Curt Walton recommended the change to save about $64,000. He says 91 percent of all calls to 311 happen between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.