By Christine Bryant
The city of Reynoldsburg is looking at upgrading its Geographic Information Systems – a move that would alleviate problems staff and developers consistently encounter with the current system that is more than a decade old.
Nathan Burd, the city’s director of public service, and Eric Snowden, the city’s planning administrator, told Reynoldsburg City Council at its Feb. 1 finance committee meeting that the cost for a new system, $37,500, would be divided upon the departments that use it most – Service, Street, Stormwater, Water and Wastewater. The current system does not work with Mac computers, and can no longer be supported or maintained.
“Our GIS system is woefully outdated,” Burd said.
GIS is used for various items related to geography and land use. City workers commonly use it to identify existing utilities, such as water, sewer and stormwater, on a property, as well as to identify exact property lines, Burd said.
“Developers and planners also need this feature to know what utilities are available in the area that they may wish to consider for future development,” he said.
It’s also used to keep better records by providing a strong framework for managing records and to save costs by improving efficiency.
“All information related to land use and geography can be kept in GIS and made available online to anyone to use,” Burd said.
As part of the cost, the company that is proposed to update the system, EMH&T, will provide training sessions to staff. Once approved, it will take approximately 8 months from start to finish to update the system.
Because of this, Burd requested that council approve the appropriation, which will be taken from the city’s unappropriated general fund, as an emergency after two readings so that staff can immediately initiate the update. Normally, requests go through three readings.
Council voted to send the request from the finance committee to full council for its first reading at the Feb. 8 meeting.
Also at the Feb. 1 finance committee meeting, Mayor Brad McCloud presented a draft of the city’s budget, noting that it is a working draft and that at the next finance committee meeting on Feb. 16, several department heads will be present to answer questions about their portions of the budget.