Photography costs county $119K

News editor

Marion County will spend $119,082 for a new aerial photography system that the service providers say will be out of date in three years.

For rural counties, Pictometry International Corp. recommends updating aerial photography every three years to reflect construction and demolition completed in the interim. However, County Commission Chairman Randy Dallke said he did not think the county would have enough change to justify updating it more often than every five years.

The system will allow county agencies, and possibly other local agencies, such as city police, to see pictures of properties from several angles.

County Appraiser Cindy Magill and Sheriff Rob Craft said the updated system could improve the safety of law enforcement and emergency workers by providing extra information about a scene. It also allows inclusion of floor plans with pictures of a property, if the county has those floor plans.

The contract the commission approved Monday included an option to have aerial photography updated in 2016 for $140,000. The commission did not approve purchase of a special camera that could be used to link pictures of the interior of a building to the system. Magill and Craft had spoken of the potential to map out the interior of public buildings such as schools, so dispatchers could relay information to responders in a hostage situation or shooting.

Magill estimated the cost of the special camera between $10,000 and $12,000.

The cost of the aerial photography will be about $40,000 each of the next three years.

The county will also make ground-level photos of properties available to view on the county’s online parcel search, as requested by a Hillsboro real estate agent.

The cost will be $1,995 this year with $1,150 annual maintenance.

“Is the value of having that picture there worth $1,200 a year to Marion County?” Dallke asked.

Magill said it would, based on how much time her department spends responding to requests for photos.

In other business:

  • The Marion County Record was chosen as the county’s official paper for publication of legal notices for the year. The commission discussed the possibility of publishing only a summary of ordinances in the newspaper with full text online.
  • Dallke was elected commission chairman for 2013, and Roger Fleming was elected vice-chairman for the year.
  • Rhonda Toal was promoted to deputy county clerk and election clerk. She will receive a raise from $2,210 to $2,625 per month. Rhonda Curry was hired as the new payroll clerk for $2,617 per month.
  • County Attorney Susan Robson met with the commission in closed session for 10 minutes to discuss attorney-client business and for five minutes to discuss wages of nonelected personnel. No action was taken after either closed session.
  • Magill met with the commission in closed session for five minutes to discuss job performance of nonelected personnel. No action was taken on return to open session.
  • Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman met with the commission in closed session for 15 minutes to discuss job performance of nonelected personnel.
    No action was taken on return to open session.
  • The commission approved spending $899 at Wright’s in Hillsboro to replace two head gaskets, a water pump, and a thermostat on a Department on Aging van that broke down.
  • Road and Bridge Department will buy a 2002 Ford F-550 service truck with about 78,000 miles on it for $30,000. It is a much better deal than an earlier truck the department considered buying, Tom Holub said.
  • Road and Bridge Department will spend $81,648 on culverts to replenish the department’s stock. Welborn Sales Inc. of Salina was the low bidder.

The next commission meeting is scheduled for Tuesday because of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

 

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