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County seeks to consolidate GIS functions

10/18/2012 - South Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

DOWNTOWN AKRON — A Summit County Council committee moved forward Oct. 15 to recommend Council adopt an ordinance consolidating staff that work on geographic information systems (GIS) in the county.

The Planning and Economic Development Committee discussed the legislation that would allow the county’s Executive, Fiscal and Engineer offices to execute a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to consolidate the county’s various GIS functions under one department.

Each of those offices, plus the Department of Environmental Services (DOES), uses the services of GIS staffers for similar duties, said Jason Dodson, chief of staff for the Executive’s Office. By consolidating their functions into one department, the county hopes to see savings of about $180,000, Dodson said.

The new department would be called the Planning and Geographic Information Systems Division, and it would be based in the Executive’s Department of Development, according to the MOU. If approved by Council, the changes would be effective Nov. 1, according to the legislation.

Also Monday, the Public Works Committee kept on time a resolution regarding the sewer plan in Clinton. A community meeting on the topic was to be held Oct. 16, and the committee wished to wait until after that meeting to proceed, said Chairman Sandra Kurt (D-at large).

The committee did recommend Council adopt a resolution that allows the county to enter into an agreement for drainage easements for the replacement of a crossover culvert in Coventry at a cost not to exceed $600. The project site is at Cottage Grove Road and Klinger Street, said Heidi Swindell, of the Engineer’s Office.

In other business, the Public Safety Committee recommended Council adopt a resolution authorizing the renewal of agreements with communities using the Summit County Sheriff’s direct indictment officer services, including Akron, New Franklin and Norton. The five-year contracts cost the communities $345,191 annually, according to the legislation, which pays the salaries and benefits for four full-time and three part-time officers.

Also Monday, the Finance Committee began its annual budget hearings in anticipation of the county’s budget process for 2013. Representatives from Consumer Affairs, the Department of Environmental Services and the Soil and Water Conservation District presented.

County Council will next meet Oct. 22 at 5 p.m. for caucus and 5:05 p.m. for its regular meeting in Council Chambers on the seventh floor of the Ohio Building, 175 S. Main St.

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