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Whitman County

October 29, 2018

To: Board of County Commissioners


From : GIS Committee: Robin Jones
Chris Nelson
Mark Storey

Recommendations regarding development of a Whitman County GIS system

The GIS Committee has met on several occasions and make the following recommendation to
the Board of County Commissioners.
1. Break GIS "department'' development into two distinct phases, creation and long term
operations.
2. Creation or development of the GIS system components:
a. Provide "General Fund" budget authority in 2019 to initiate the formation of a
countywide GIS system.
b. Estimated $400,000 for development of a parcel layer. This will be accomplished
through a "Request for Proposals" process and may or may not involve the use
of other agencies resources.
c. Estimated $100,000 for hardware and licensing.
d. Total 2019 "General Fund" budget of $500,000, which will likely wrap into the
following budget year as well. The cost estimate should cover it even if it does
wrap into 2020.
e. Public Works (Road Fund) will be continuing with the setup of GIS Road and asset
layers and paid for out of the Road Fund (already budgeted).
f. Assign Jeff Marshall in Public Works to lead the process of developing a GIS
system. Chris Nelson to manage the IT support for development.
g. Robin Jones, Chris Nelson, Jeff Marshall to act as technical committee in
development.
3. Formation of a GIS department or division within a department.
a. The intent would be to have the GIS system operational (or partially operational)
by the first of January 2020, and fully operational by mid-2020 (see notes below
about details).
b. It is not possible to fully understand long-term operational costs at this time. But
it is estimated that a GIS department or division will cost on the order of
$150,000 to $300,000 per year to operate. Variability has to do with where
services reside (ie - Assessor and Public Works, already have some of the
personnel).
Details of a GIS Department
• Parcel layer, not to survey accuracy because of cost. This is acceptable to Robin Jones,
Assessor. Parcel RFP will include an option to include tax codes, districts, and possibly
election districts.
• Road layer, Centerline road segments with other road attributes.
• Bridge layer.
• Township, range, section corners. City/town limits.
• Commissioner Districts, road districts, named streams. floodplains, shorelines .
• ARC-Gis software (online version for internet services) .
• Future layers may include zoning, health department (ie septic fields and restaurant
inspections), Sheriff, Auditor, Elections (districts, precincts, wards), Right of Way widths.
• GIS Manager - probably full time.
• Assessor - one GIS Technician, plus the Assessor (2 full design stations). Autocad license
for editing parcels.
• Purchase of Terrascan Mapsifter software, estimated $10,000 per year.
• Public Works - one full time GIS Technician, one part time senior editor (Jeff).
• Yearly license fees.
• Regular hardware replacement (servers and design stations) .
• Possible expansion of internet service capacity when the system goes live, est. $12,000
per year.
• Data format and projection transition to new formats - 2022 conversion .