New fees for accessing GIS web site draws criticism

New fees for accessing GIS web site draws criticism

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Plymouth, USA, 5 July 2006: New fees to access a proposed enhanced county GIS Web site drew criticism from area real estate professionals on July 3. The county, while maintaining a free site in which information about a parcel address, legal description, acreage, property address and more, plans to offer an additional site for a subscriber’s fee.

The enhanced version would allow more advanced searches, according to representatives from the county’s technology committee. Records could be searched by owner information, assessed value ranges, size ranges and more.

In this context Sam Goebel of Re/Max Oak Crest Realty told Marshall County Commissioners that the county “should not be in the business of creating different profit centers for information that’s free to the public”. While Commissioner Tom Chamberlin said he agreed with those who said fees for users outside Marshall County should be higher than those for in-county subscribers.

Those speaking during the hearing said more research needs to be done, not only to bring any user fees into line, but also to determine how the information is being used and by whom. Some also said they should not have to underwrite a program in which information provided is required of the county by law.