The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

January 8, 2013

County OKs upgrade to geographic service

DANVILLE — A Vermilion County Board vote Tuesday night will bring houses and property in the county’s geographic information systems service into better focus.

Board members voted to approve an amendment to a contract with Bruce Harris and Associates for fly-over photos — described as photogrammetric services — for the county’s geographic information systems website. The amendment will cost the county an additional $3,200, bringing the total sum to $110,476 for the work.

District 7’s John Dreher — a member of the original GIS consortium several years ago — said the small additional sum will nearly double the visibility power of the photos.

“You can almost identify pedestrians on the street,” he told the board.

Finance and personnel committee chairman John Alexander of District 6 said the detailed photography will be used mainly over incorporated areas of the county, with the lower resolution photos used in rural areas.

Alexander said the county hopes to have the photos completed in March to avoid visibility issues with homes and boundaries obscured by spring foliage.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting:

  • Board members heard a report from Michele Rice of the Vermilion County Emergency Management Agency regarding her work on the East Coast during Superstorm Sandy in late October.

Rice was part of a team that left the Illinois Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Springfield en route to New York City. The group consisted of 13 county EMA members from throughout the state as well as two IEMA employees.

Rice spent 16 days working in a number of areas performing a number of tasks. The scenes were a “humbling experience,” she told board members.

Rice returned to Vermilion County intent on explaining the importance of emergency preparedness to residents.

“I can promise you one thing: Everything I learned there I will bring back to Vermilion County,” she said.

  • Board members approved an annual contract to receive services from the Office of the State’s Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor through Nov. 31. The county appropriates $20,000 through the agreement, which allows an appellate prosecutor to handle specific cases.

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