Chesterfield County Council members spent most of last week’s meeting learning about the county’s newest advancements in technology.
The new Geographic Information System (GIS) for the Chesterfield County Assessor’s office, promises to be “a step in the right direction for moving this county forward with better services for our citizens,” said Chesterfield County Councilman Eddie Rivers.
A GIS program is a computer system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present many types of geographical data. According to Chesterfield County Assessor Susie Jordan, “It will be a big change.” A change, she says, that is nothing short of awesome.
“It will cut down a lot of traffic in my office. And it will help other offices as well,” said Jordan.
What does this mean for the people of Chesterfield County? It means the search for information on deeds, zoning laws, tax rates, property lines, school districts, voting precincts and more, will now be accessible in seconds. Before this technology, Jordan said, some searches could lead folks through several county offices and far too many large musty books.
But don’t expect to get it today. Installing the system doesn’t happen so quickly. It will still be a few months before the system is available for public use.
Chesterfield County Administrator Denise Douglass invited Todd Shafer of WTH Technology Company to show council exactly “what the program will do once it is fully implemented.”
Using a projector screen, Shafer demonstrated the ease with which county workers and the public will be able to access property information. By simply typing in the address for the courthouse, all the relative information was at his fingertips.
Jordan told council updated satellite photos have also afforded her the opportunity to find some new property structures, hidden by the natural landscape on foot, that should be taxed.
As this information will be helpful and convenient for the average citizen, it will be a tremendous asset for real estate companies. Shafer told council he has known county governments, in other states, who worked with related businesses to help pay for the GIS program.
In other business, council conducted a public hearing “authorizing the issuance and sale of not exceeding two million dollars ($2,000,000) General Obligation refunding bond.” There were no comments from the public.
A public hearing on a lease-purchase agreement for a $150,000 bush-cutter met with approval as well. Councilman Douglas Curtis said this purchase will “actually save the county about $75,000.” There were no comments or objections from the public.
A second reading to adopt the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code, setting standards for building codes, passed unanimously.
Council approved the second reading of an ordinance “for the development of a joint industrial and business park by and between Chesterfield County and Lancaster County.” According to Douglass, this is another multi-county park involving an economic development project in Lancaster County and is “basically the same as the one we passed recently with Lancaster County.”
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, or by email at email@example.com.