Following an agreement reached late last year, allowing the work to be done in early 2018, the Harvey County Commission saw just how advantageous a deal with EagleView was in a presentation brought before the governing body on Monday by Harvey County GIS supervisor Allen Shafer.
Shafer showed the implementation of the new aerial imagery in action and the tools provided through the EagleView software, which includes not only higher resolution images, but angled images, side-by-side comparisons and the ability to measure building dimensions (i.e. height, slope, etc.). It is those angled images in particular that may be most beneficial to the county — allowing appraisers to see debris that may be on the property or the emergency response team to identify points of access to a building.
"We wouldn't have been able to do that in the past," Shafer said.
All of this can also be accessed in a normal web browser, with no special software or setup needed, Shafer noted (while stating that the county has physical copies of this information as well). On top of that, Harvey County staff that use the GIS system can overlay their data sets on top of the new aerial photography — like Planning and Zoning overlaying the aerial imaging with flood plain maps or the appraiser's office being able to implement land uses with the new imagery.
Currently, 15 county staff members plus 911 dispatch has access to the new EagleView imaging system and Shafer noted the company will be coming in the third week of June to do training with county employees. With the licensing agreement the county reached with the company, 250 named users will have access to the system and up to 50 can be on at the same time.
That agreement is good for a few years, until the next scheduled photography flyover, but even if the county does not continue its agreement with the company Shafer said the resources would remain available.
"No matter what happens in the future, we have this imagery and the data behind it," Shafer said.
Upgrading the system was long overdue, according to commissioner Randy Hague, while commissioner Chip Westfall wanted to make sure the ERT is aware and has access to this information (which Shafer noted is the case, as he tries to work with that group on utilizing the new aerial imagery).
Most of the tools are strictly for county employees, but members of the public can utilize the new, higher resolution images at the same site that has been available over the years for that service at www.harvey.kansasgis.com.
In other business, the county commission:
Recognized the work that has gone into the county's drug-free coalition and its rapid expansion.
Noted that the annual 4-H appreciation picnic will be held on July 17.
Was updated on some upcoming opportunities through the Regional Economic Area Partnership of South Central Kansas, including a grant-writing class that department heads are being notified about and the next board of directors meeting that will be held on July 19 with a focus on regional transportation.
Learned of the South Central Kansas Economic Development District's open house on June 28, with commissioners asked to RSVP if they are interested in attending.
Heard from Planning and Zoning Director Gina Bell, who recently attended a board of realtors meeting to discuss new forms for lot divisions.
Was notified by Emergency Management Director Gary Denny of the upcoming tabletop exercise for Harvey County, Newton, North Newton and Walton on June 20, as well as the ICS course being hosted by the county on Thursday and Friday.
Heard from Sedgwick resident Dwight Kinzer about issues he had at the county driver's license office recently, regarding misinformation received in office and online. It was noted that all the rules and regulations (and information listing them) are mandated and provided by the state office, while the county office did update its website — which hadn't been done since the installation of new treasurer Emily Nichols — after this incident. Staff shortages over the lunch hour were also brought up by Kinzer, but commission chair Randy Hague noted that is being addressed through cross-training of county employees as the county works "to do everything in our power to make sure everything runs smoothly."
Approved the area plan on aging for fiscal year 2019, authorizing the Sedgwick County Commission chair to sign.
Approved an agreement with Ochs Law Firm to join its opioid litigation, with minor changes made to fees paid upon any monetary awards earned.
Approved resolution 2018-13, appointing Colin Windham as Coroner for the Ninth Judicial District (serving Harvey and McPherson counties). Windham then nominated Ron Morford as his deputy coroner.