Plans on drawing board to upgrade Fairfield's geo-maps
You need a map that shows your property lines. Or one that shows you where all the sidewalks are in town. Maybe you'd like to know what building permits have been pulled for a neighboring property.
Right now, that entails a trip to town hall, but in the future you may be able to access all that information and more from the comfort of your living room. The Greater Bridgeport Regional Council -- formerly known as the Greater Bridgeport Planning Agency -- is seeking a state grant that would enable it to update its six member towns' Geographic Information Systems and make them web-based.
The grant money would cover the costs of the upgrade and switch to a web-based system; annual maintenance costs would be paid for by individual towns.
The upgrade of Fairfield's GIS is estimated to cost about $240,000 and includes an aerial fly-over for photographs.
Public Works Director Richard White questioned the need for the system being proposed. "Our Engineering Department started building our GIS seven years ago," White said, "and it essentially includes all of this."
He said Fairfield's data is updated on an annual basis.
The data, White was told, may not be as comprehensive now as it could be and the new system would include information such as road markings like crosswalks and stop bars.
"We have that," White said.
Bidolli said when his agency was putting together a bike-pedestrian plan for Fairfield, it found information missing from the current system. "There were sidewalks not in that data," he said. "You do have a good starting point, it's about expanding on it."
Once it place, "We're able to update it and maintain it on your behalf," Bidolli said. "All the back end work is done at our agency. It's bringing us all up to a higher standard."
First Selectman Mike Tetreau said the resolution before the board simply indicates its support for the project and, at this point, doesn't cost the town any money.
Bidolli said once the GIS is upgraded and in place -- probably sometime in 2014 -- the town could choose not to have annual updates done by the GBRC, and there would be no additional costs. The new system, he said, would be the town's to use at it sees fit.
In other areas of the state, where similar systems have been put into places, municipalities have chosen to add to fees to fund the annual maintenance. For example, Bidolli said, Manchester added $1 to all its new building permits for that purpose. Maintenance costs vary, he said.