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Canadian city considers new GIS plan

The City of Dryden, Canada, is now considering a number of recommendations from a GIS/Asset Management Strategic Plan. George Lysenko of iPLANcorp presented a draft report on the strategic plan to council on Dec. 15. It is now before a steering committee for review before being developed into a final report. The plan, put together by iPLANcorp, is intended to set a direction for the city’s use of infrastructure and other structures and assets. At the same time, it gives advice on how to best maintain and use its Geographic Information System system.

In fact, one recommendation is to overhaul the city’s GIS system because the current software is no longer supported. The strategic plan, which is still in the draft stage, also calls for the city to establish a corporate asset management system and make use of orthographic photography. The last point would provide the city with detailed aerial photographs of the city and its various facilities and infrastructure. It also calls on Dryden to hire a full time IT Manager and a full time GIS analyst. The latter is already in place.

In total, the recommendations would cost the city of Dryden $1.14 million. However, Lysenko says it is possible the city could tap into several funding programs which would reduce its share of the expense to $225,000. These include FedNor money for GIS programs and the potential of $350,000 in GeoSmart money. That is a program encouraging municipalities to invest in GIS programs and technology. While acknowledging the program would cost Dryden a great deal of money, Lysenko says it would provide Dryden with several tangible rewards. This would include a better understanding of what facilities require the most immediate attention. It would also make it easier to plan for the most efficient management of those assets. Lysenko adds a proper GIS system and asset management program could be important to future economic development. It would allow for instant access to businesses seeking details on the community when they are considering investing in the area.