Sept. 13--MONTROSE -- Lee County supervisors are considering the lengths to which they will go to collect $1,500.
Luan Schmitt, Lee County Information Technology coordinator, came to the supervisors during a work session Tuesday and made a simple request for a written policy for which county or city employees and ancillary agencies would have access to new imaging software.
Schmitt sought clarification on whether agencies, like the Green Bay Levee and Drainage District that had put in a request, would be able to use an account with Pictometry, a recently purchased imaging software. She suggested the $15 account cost for the 100 accounts the county has through the company could be absorbed by the county.
Supervisors, however, saw a chance to collect the money from those umbrella groups that fall under county jurisdiction, including county offices.
"I don't think $25 a pop, or whatever, is out of line," Lee County Supervisor Gary Folluo said.
Lee County Supervisor Ernie Schiller agreed, saying that the county was not interested in collecting more money than the cost but that it could take time and energy, and therefore dollars, to collect the $15 per account.
"I think it should be a flat fee for everyone and be done," Schiller said, adding it could be factored into the various county department's budgets when discussions of the budget for the new fiscal year get underway.
The imaging software costs about $200,000 over six years. The cost is shared by the county and the cities of Fort Madison and Keokuk. The Lee County Assessor's Office contributed $60,000, or $10,000 a year, to use the ChangeFindr service through Pictometry.
Schmitt said so far the county has 52 users, leaving 48 accounts inactive. She said the users accounts are not costing the county any additional money this year, but the $1,500 cost will take effect during the next fiscal year.
Des Moines County's GIS, or Geographic Information Systems, commission purchased the Pictometry software back in 2009. Austin Roelfs, Des Moines County GIS coordinator, said the system has since been upgraded to match the online software Lee County is just now beginning to use.
Roelfs said the county did not offer a new written policy for who would have access to the entire system -- parts of the software are available to the public in Lee and Des Moines counties -- but rather it allows anyone employed by the county or any agency the county has an intergovernmental agreement with to have an account to use the software.
Roelfs said the 100 accounts have proven to be plenty, and Des Moines County does not charge other county or city entities to use the accounts.
"Since the GIS commission purchased the Pictometry online, you know that falls under the county, the city of Burlington, the city of West Burlington," Roelfs said, adding that means the cities of Danville and Mediapolis, for example, do not have access to the accounts.
While Lee County determines the cost and written policy, the board members did give Schmitt the OK to allow the Green Bay Levee District to have an account, but they advised her to let the district know it may be billed, at not more than $50, for the use of the account.
In the meantime, Folluo said he would work with Schmitt on the policy and the cost to have an account.
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