Repetitive work efforts in individual land use departments can be accomplished at a significant time savings. For example, the Assessor’s office may need to produce a 200 foot radius map and certified list of property owners for an applicant on a specific land parcel. Convention requires the engineer draw the map, the assessor create the list, and check recent land sales prior to certification. The Geographic Information System (GIS) can locate the parcel on the tax map, delineate a 200 foot radius buffer, identify the adjoining owners and print out map and list within seconds.
The Borough of Madison expects to have this capability very soon at a moderate programming cost. The system can be further refined with small departmental investments to be operable by the public or any individual assumed to have little experience with the task at hand. Other examples of target applications:
A Planning official may wish to access to access the history of planning actions on a certain parcel of land, and current status of that parcels application with the Borough.
The Zoning Official might need enforcement actions on a certain parcel of land over a certain period of time.
The Building and Construction Official may need permits issued or outstanding for a certain parcel over a certain period of time.
The Engineer may want a colorized map of all road projects accomplished over the past ten years to project the required investments over the next ten years.
The Planner may want to analyze certain characteristics of a region for applying new ordinances or restrictions.
The Electric Utility may need pole numbers and electric power available within a certain distance of a certain location.
The Water Utility may need the age, size, depth, pressure and locations of a main or service near a specific area or intersection.
Police and Fire departments may require emergency response data such as hydrant location and capacity or accident histories at certain locations.
All the above tasks can be accomplished with a relatively small programming investment so that staff and the public can access information easily. The Borough of Madison has made strategic investments in GIS, Internet and computer technologies which make the access to information simpler to accomplish. With the information systems infrastructure in place and creative management, distributing time-saving applications to staff and the public has had major technical and logistical hurdles removed. As always, easy access to information benefits us all.