Midland GIS, a geographical information system company, will work with the city of Osceola and the Osceola Water Works Department to build and implement a comprehensive platform to be used by the city and county for making repairs and growing Osceola and Clarke County. This GIS program helps cities and municipalities map real estate plats, storm water and wastewater systems, water mains and other infrastructure systems, keeping them in a central digital program for all city and county departments to share and use as needed. Through information sharing, city and county workers will be able to access various maps one at a time or individually while in the field via laptop, smartphone or tablet, and they will have the ability to see necessary zoning information immediately as needed. These maps will be official, survey-grade information, detailed to within inches, updated as needed in real time and will greatly improve the efficiency of all city utility departments.
Previously, all zoning and infrastructure information was stored in separate locations and was frequently incomplete or outdated. The assessor’s office has zoning information in their existing GIS program, and the wastewater plant has sewer information in a different, antiquated program at their location. Osceola Water Works stores their own water line maps in their offices and the city storm water system has never been mapped. By having Midland GIS Solutions house all of the different zoning and infrastructure information in one platform, on one site, all departments can share information in real time. Midland will hold the responsibility of maintaining the system, making information and program updates appropriately and in a timely manner, ensuring the information and the platform are never obsolete.
This geographical information system not only maps the locations of various infrastructures, but will also keep accurate, detailed records of repairs and replacements as well as any new zoning or utility positioning. When a fire hydrant is replaced, for example, GIS allows complete documentation of what was done, the date it was replaced, who did the work and how much it cost. Other departments can then use the GIS maps to click on that location and see what was done, when and by whom, removing any kind of mystery and guesswork regarding repairs and inventory many years down the road.
The City of Osceola will be using GIS primarily for real estate information, property lines, street information such as right of way, and other zoning data. Osceola Water Works will be able to map all existing public water lines, fire hydrants, manhole access locations and will have immediate access, in the field, to all data related to any repairs or work done previously at any location. The wastewater treatment facility will be able to map their lines and integrate video inspections of sewer pipes into the system to be able to accurately compare degradation from one inspection to the next.
Implementing this system is an important long-term investment in accurate and accessible records for the community to be updated and used for decades to come, bringing Osceola ahead of the curve as compared to similar communities.
While the City and the Water Works department will be covering the cost of the site development and maintenance fees for their respective maps, residents will not see any financial impact for this service. All costs associated with implementing the GIS will be covered through the road-use tax and sewer utility tax funds, and no new or higher taxes will come about as a result of this project. This investment will resolve record-keeping issues and will bring all data together so all departments can be quick and confident in their repairs and infrastructure work, saving money through time, manpower and duplicate actions. Fifty years from now, city and county workers will be able to see the work done and will have all the records needed to make informed decisions to sustain and grow the City of Osceola. GIS is a powerful tool with endless applications to be used for generations to come.
For more information, contact Ty Wheeler, City Administrator, City of Osceola, Iowa, 115 North Fillmore, Osceola, IA 50213, Phone: (641)342-2377, Fax: (641)342-4005
This article was first published on http://clarkecountylife.com.