By Wayne Allen
For several months Scioto County and a number of community partners have been working to gather and coordinate information to be included in a new Geographic Information System (GIS). Once implemented, the system is anticipated to bring together county tax maps, utility maps, cemetery locations as well as a plethora of information currently housed in several locations and offices.
Scioto County Engineer Craig Opperman has been on the ground floor of development of the new GIS system. He said one of the primary components of the system is tax maps. Tax maps include information about every parcel of information within Scioto County. The maps also include demotions and owner information on each parcel within the county.
There have been a multiple conversations in recent months and years about how to update and maintain county tax maps. One consistent conversational point was finances. Earlier this year a collaboration was announced between the Scioto County Commissioners, Scioto County Auditor and Scioto County Engineer to fund the maps being updated.
Opperman reports the maps have been updated and a plan is being worked out on how often the maps will be updated moving forward. He said current plan calls for the maps to be updated quarterly, with the hopes they can be updated more often.
There are a number of county offices that depend on an up-to-date tax map system — offices include the board of elections and auditor to name a few. Prior to recent achievements, county tax maps had not been updated since 2013.
Opperman said there are certain advantages for the county to have updated tax maps.
“I’ve been preaching from the beginning, if we’re not doing tax maps for economic development, we’re not really doing tax maps justice and we’re not doing our residents justice,” Opperman said. “There are a lot of things that play into economic development, it takes the people to push it and it takes the resources, such as a GIS system.”
Opperman said one of the key components of GIS system is tax maps.
“If we can get utilities on there, we can show people available land. If you have someone from a different country, looking for property in Scioto County they can sit at their desk and look at what’s available,” Opperman said. “Our current system has met our needs and has evolved over the years. We’re trying to take a bigger leap right now into the next direction of GIS as opposed to just tax maps.”
Opperman is optimistic about the system being up and running in the next couple of months.
“We’re not trying to look at this as a county project, we’re trying to pull all of Scioto County together as one group in order to provide a tremendous product,” Opperman said.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT