Pleasant Valley…Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus and staff from the County’s Office of Computer Information Systems (OCIS) hosted a Geographic Information System (GIS) training session for municipalities on Tuesday, January 11th at the Pleasant Valley Town Hall. Local assessors, planners, zoning administrators and other GIS users from local municipalities were in attendance. The training is part of an ongoing effort to promote a more effective use of GIS among the municipalities and to maintain an open dialog with the County in terms of GIS issues. In July of 2003, the County Executive first announced the GIS rollout to local municipalities across the county.
County Executive Steinhaus noted, “Our County staff deserve much credit for bringing municipalities on board with GIS technology in such a rapid fashion. From the grant request last February, to total installation of equipment for capability within each municipality, to this training today – it all took place in less than one year. I am extremely pleased we have been able to adopt an e-government system of communication that is this in-depth and effective.”
During 2004, the County offered the municipalities the opportunity to participate with them in pursuing a cooperative New York State Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund grant to extend access to the County’s Web-based GIS tools and data distribution. The grant application was approved, awarding $55,534 for funding computer hardware and software for all participants this past fall.
Municipalities access the County’s GIS through IMAGIS, a series of computer applications developed by the County’s own OCIS staff. Most importantly the system leverages GIS data created by many county departments. Included are GIS data “layers” such as streets, real property parcels, municipal and school boundaries, major bridges, transportation routes, water bodies and streams, soils, and public safety data.
“Currently, twenty-seven (27) municipalities have access to the County’s GIS and the feedback from all has been very positive. Many of them have reported significant savings of time in carrying out their tasks and have commented that the additional capabilities and vastly improved levels of information available to them have greatly enhanced working with their citizens,” said Steinhaus.
In June of 2004, County Executive Steinhaus announced Dutchess County received a special National level achievement award from the California based software company, Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), for the County’s Geographic Information System (GIS) IMAGIS website. Dutchess is one of only 150 chosen to receive the Special Achievement in GIS Award among more than 100,000 ESRI sites worldwide.
For more information on Dutchess County’s GIS training for the Municipalities, call the Dutchess County Office of Computer Information Systems (OCIS), 486-2450, Monday — Friday, 9:00 am — 5:00 pm.
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