FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners want to talk to representatives of fire departments, the Sheriff’s Office, 911 and search and rescue operations to determine if specialized aerial digital photos of the entire county would be useful.

The cost to the county and unorganized territory is a combined $40,382 for 18-inch pixel resolution with four-band imagery.

The state GeoLibrary would pay two-thirds of the total cost of $121,122, which is about $80,740, according to information provided by Claire Kiedrowski, executive director of Maine Library of Geographic Information. She gave county commissioners a presentation Tuesday via teleconference. There are only two seasons left in the five-year project, she said.

The GeoLibrary’s goal is to cover the state and develop reliable, consistent statewide data, promote cost-efficiency, make timelier decisions, reduce unwanted costs and promote data sharing, according to Kiedrowski’s information.

If the county decides to participate, a plane would do a one-time flight over the county either this spring or the spring of 2022 to collect the images.

“If you want to fly this spring, (in April) we have a lot of work to be done,” she said. “If the county decides to do this it becomes public.”

The data could be used in many ways, including economic development, land planning and zoning, emergency management, parcel mapping, surveying and mapping, permitting, site analysis and natural resource inventories. It is also a primary source for adjusting the next generation 911 system, she said.

“When the county or UT participates, then municipalities within that county can ‘buy up’ to increased pixel resolution at a substantial savings,” Kiedrowski said. The options are 3-inch, 6-inch and 12-inch. The lower the number the more detailed the imagery is, she said.

If only the county is done without the unorganized territory, the price would be $20,128 for covering about 1,118 square miles. If only the unorganized territory is done, the price is $20,254, to cover about 1,125 square miles, she said.

Commissioner Chairman Terry Brann of Wilton said his problem with doing the project is that it would be an increase in taxes.

“I think the towns have all they can do to come up with taxes,” Commissioner Clyde Barker of Strong said, adding that they could assess the proposal more before making a decision.

County Clerk Julie Magoon said some people she has spoken with, including the 911 employee for the unorganized territory and a member of a search and rescue organization, think the imagery would be a worthwhile project. The search and rescue representative believed it would help in locating someone in a rescue operation in the unorganized territory. The money for the unorganized territory part would come out of that budget.

Magoon suggested they reach out to fire departments and others to see if it would be a valuable asset.

Kiedrowski said she could put a webinar together so people could learn about the project.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.