By Wayne Allen
The Scioto County Commissioners entered into an agreement Thursday with the city of Portsmouth on a Geographic Information System (GIS) which the county is developing. As a part of the agreement the city of Portsmouth agrees to pay $25,000 a year, for the next two years, to be a part of the system.
The creation of the GIS system has involved a collaboration of agencies and governments, including Scioto County Commissioners, Scioto County Auditor, Scioto County Sanitary Engineer, Southern Ohio Port Authority, city of Portsmouth, and the Scioto County Economic Development Office.
Currently, when a potential investor looks at the area the only way to get certain details about a particular parcel of property is to visit several offices within the Scioto County Courthouse. Once the GIS system is operational that information would be accessible through the internet.
When the system was announced, officials emphasized the complexity of the project and it would likely take a while to complete.
Several officials saw the level of cooperation as significant.
“This is a big project and the joint corporation between departments is great. We’re going to have an awesome GIS System that’s more than tax maps, we’re talking about integrating utilities and a number of other things,” said Bryan Davis, Scioto County commissioner, at the announcement of the collaboration earlier this year.
Jason Kester, executive director of the Southern Ohio Port Authority, said the new system will allow for economic development and infrastructure planning for the area.
Davis said the system will allow potential investors to look properties and see its capabilities from their office. He said the same would go for people looking to move to the area.
“They will be able to go online to see this data and make educated decisions,” Davis said. “While it is a large project for many offices within and outside the courthouse, the return on investment is going to be huge for our community.”
Scioto County Engineer Craig Opperman said the system will be developed in phases. Opperman said he and others are working on various parts of what will be the GIS system. He said some of the current work revolves around establishing county engineer website that will be the home of the GIS system once operational.
“There are a lot of counties around us that have been online (with tax maps) for years. I think we’re going to have the Cadillac of the bunch because eventually a lot of departments will benefit from this,” Crabtree said.
Opperman said a number of agencies will benefit from this and the more partners they have the better.
“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.
Opperman said if everything works out some form of the GIS system could be online in the coming months.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT