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County hires out to build parcel maps before November vote

Article Date: 
21 March, 2014 (All day)

In an effort to complete GIS mapping of the county before the November election, the Morgan County Council approved funding outside help to build 1,685 parcel maps.
Since 2006, funding for such projects came from the state through the Bureau of Land Management, said Dave Manning, Morgan County GIS technician.  Over the years, the county has been working on building parcel data of the entire county.  This year the state was not able to continue procuring funding to dole out grants, yet the county’s project is not yet complete.
“We have come up in the last month or so with an immediate need to finish building the parcels in the more populated parts of the county, mainly the Morgan City area,” Manning said.
Using Voter Information and State Tracking Application (VISTA), Deputy Clerk Auditor Teresa Lake has to assign an address for every new voter registration.  With no addresses in the system for much of Morgan City, she has to pick a house based on her own personal knowledge.
“I have lived here long enough that I know where a lot of people live, but it is hard to do,” she said.  “It has got to be done by November so our maps align with the state maps.”
Parcel information is critical to show the location of registered voters, Manning said.  
“There is an immediate need, and an ongoing need in the recorder’s office, assessor’s office and planning offices for parcels to be built,” he said.  
The need is so pressing he can’t handle the huge assignment of building parcels to state standards himself with his current workload, Manning said.
Jeff Ward with Small Town GIS understands, and approached Morgan County with a proposal to do it for $8,400 by June.  Manning also asked Gateway Mapping for a proposal to do the same.  However, their $29,000 price tag was just too much for the county council to swallow.
The county will dip into its general fund to complete the parcels.  Ward has worked Summit County’s GIS specialist for 14 years and performs consulting work on the side.