Kosciusko County Council heard a proposal at their regular meeting Sept. 13 in regards to a Pictometry project, which would utilize aerial photographs to keep track of improvement changes for use in the reassessment process.
The assessor’s office had previously used Pictometry in November 2010 for use in the 2012 General Reassessment and hope to purchase the Change Findr program to help identify improvement changes since the 2011 flight.
Kosciusko County Assessor Laurie Renier stated she sees value in photographs to be able to see infrastructures. She noted the use of Pictometry and Change Findr would cut costs on labor and mileage. She added the software would also help when the switch is made to cyclical reassessments, starting in 2013. Cyclical reassessment will require 25 percent of residential, commercial or industrial be completed each year.
Other benefits of Pictometry were noted including uses by county and township offices as well as in public works and public safety projects. The project could also be of use to dispatch centers, allowing them to see entrances and exits, among other features, to structures.
During the presentation, two options were presented to the council. Option A offered one flight over 2 years totaling $257,935.50 while Option B was three flights over 6 years.
Cost would be respectively $196,535.50 for flight one, $221,995.50 for flight 2 and $233,975.50 for flight three; prices reflect a 10 percent sharing grant for each flight. The Change Findr software would then cost $18,333.70. An opt out clause would be available after the first flight should the county wish to discontinue the project.
Renier stated $1.5 million was available to pay for this tool. Renier had also previously budgeted $330,000 for Pictometry.
Council member Larry Teghtmeyer expressed concerns about the cost-effectiveness of Pictometry and Change Findr, noting it was a good size investment. “Bottom line, it is taxpayer money,” Teghtmeyer stated. “We want to get the most out of it.”
Council member Bob Sander also expressed concerns about whether the assessor’s office would still send people out to properties. Renier stated they still had to physically visit properties and that Pictometry was just a tool to help them.
Council member Jim Moyer motioned the topic be tabled and asked Renier to gather physical support for the project from other entities within the county that might also benefit from it.
Other Council News:
Council members approved several transfers including: $637.16 to the Local Emergency Planning’s emergency supplies fund, $13,389.36 to the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department’s repairs and maintenance fund, $1,450 to the Health Department’s general fund/registrar II, $5,720 to group insurance for drug and alcohol user fees, $6,352.92 to reassessment’s social security contributions fund.
Superior I and Circuit Court were also approved to transfer $5,000 to bailiff salary and $10,000 to legal directory and court rule.
The health department received an additional appropriation of $5,000 to their personal services account. County Clerk Jason McSherry was also approved to spend $6,375 toward purchasing computers.
Council members reviewed budgets as well, approving non-binding recommendations for taxing units and binding recommendations for the 2012 Solid Waste District Budget. Also approved were the county’s 2012 Budget and 2012 Salary Ordinance.
Next council meeting will occur Oct. 11.