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Greene County to get the GIS

Greene County will be on the map, literally.

The county will implement a $367,720 Geographic Information System, which department heads hope will help productivity.

GIS is digitised mapping that can be overlaid with other maps. For example, GIS could map flood plains and overlap that with residential areas, showing which houses are in danger of flooding.

Greene is one of seven counties in the state that doesn’t have GIS services. “It will create tremendous efficiencies,” said Greene County Manager Lee Worsley. “We will no longer have to use paper maps.”

The county recently awarded a contract to Pennsylvania-based Kimball and Associates, to provide GIS services.

The contract has been broken down into three phases.

Phase one, which was budgeted in 2001-2002, cost $50,000. The first phase includes aerial photos and is scheduled to be completed Aug. 31.

The 2002-2003 budget had $140,000 set aside for phase two of the project, which includes deed scanning and tax mapping of 5,500 parcels.

The remaining $177,720 will be recommended in the 2003-2004 budget for phase three. Phase three will include digital production of scaled-down land use maps, tax mapping of another 5,500 parcels and computer purchases. In addition, phase three will cover staff training in parcel maintenance.

Worsley said once implemented, GIS might even create a job.

“A lot of counties have a GIS department,” he said. “We will have immediate benefits in the tax office and will eventually benefit in every department.”

Greene County Emergency Management Director Dickie Hill said the system will help his department pinpoint locations that need immediate attention.

“It’s definitely a needed project,” Hill said. “I can’t think of an agency that won’t benefit.”