County approves contract for web service

The Jefferson County Supervisors met Monday to discuss a new web service to provide real estate and other county data for residents, and to meet with the county engineer.



Jefferson County Assessor Steve Wemmie spoke with the board about the county?s plan to replace Sidwell for the county?s Geographic Information Systems portal with the Beacon platform by Schneider Geomatics. The board approved a five-year contract with Schneider.

The Beacon platform will allow users to view county, public records and Geographical Information Systems via an online portal. The Beacon portal will purportedly cost the county about half of what the Sidwell platform does over the five-year agreement, reducing costs by about $20,000, and is also significantly easier to use.

?In the last year and a half, Sidwell has become less and less reliable, so I reached out to Schneider,? said Wemmie, explaining that The Beacon was a better deal.

Wemmie added that the public can use the service to find buffers.

?If you want a 500-foot buffer around your property, you can do that,? he said. ?[You] can see who lives around you, how many acres. You?ll be able to see CSR [Corn Suitability Rating] values. It?s got a lot to offer.?


Road work

County Engineer Scott Cline updated the board on roadwork in the county. Of particular interest is a delay by Windstream in relocating a particular stretch of cable necessary for work to proceed near Highway 1 and 227th Street.

The roadwork around this area is part of necessary infrastructure improvements for an economic development project that is tightly bound by funding agreements which specify start and finish dates for the work to be done. The delay caused by Windstream puts pressure on an already difficult to manage construction schedule.

Cline also spoke with the board about modifying a rumble-strip sitting directly in front of a house near Lockridge. While it is necessary in this spot which approaches an intersection, Cline believes the noise can be softened without reducing safety.

?I think our first step would be to put a light coat of the Total Patcher down and maybe fill it up halfway,? said Cline. ?That?s the least expensive and you don?t have to tear up the concrete or bring a contractor in.?


Other news

A closed session for the board was set for Wednesday to discuss renewal of the county engineer?s employment contract.

The board approved a fund transfer related to a new completed project on Osage, meaning $65,647.88 will be added to the county?s capital projects fund.

Supervisor Dick Reed reported that the Three-County Landfill Commission met over the past week. Items of concern are finding more efficient ways to deal with mattresses and carpet. The group is also looking for more economically efficient ways to dispose of leachate, the toxic liquid that accumulates in landfills. Supervisor Lee Dimmitt reminded the board that the Local Option Sales Tax referendum will come back on the ballot in November for the rural part of Jefferson County.

?It?s a big deal,? he said. ?Eighty percent goes to property tax relief and 20 percent goes to replace and maintain bridges and culverts. We?re going to ask the voters to renew that for another 10 years. When I say it?s a big deal, just in the last 10 years that sales tax referendum has returned between $4-5 million in property tax relief to the rural residents of Jefferson County.?