November 26, 2014

Spicer Group to install GIS in Arenac County

By John Fischer
Staff Writer
Posted

ARENAC COUNTY — Working hand-in-hand with the Equalization, Drain Commission and Economic Development/Michigan State University Extension Departments, the Saginaw-based Spicer Group will begin installing a Geographic Information System (GIS) throughout Arenac County in lieu of a $90,000 grant received from the Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe.

GIS provides useful information about land parcel properties for an entire community, whether it’s for a business, landowner or any “regular Joe” sitting at their computer.

According to Project Manager Joseph Sancimino, the Spicer group has been approved to begin Phase I of the GIS Project, which includes the general mapping of six to seven available layers of data provided by the state and federal government for the entire Arenac County. Areas such as roads, waterways, drainage systems, aerial photography and political boundaries will be mapped out.

Sancimino says Phase I also includes a comprehensive GIS pilot program limited to covering Standish Township. Work items for the Standish Township project include complete surveying of twelve Public Land Survey System (PLSS) corners in the township (which are assembled based on state GIS layers, original GLO maps and local gathered records), mapping of property parcels (based on tax records and hand-drawn maps provided by County Equalization), subdivision mapping (based on State of Michigan recorded plats) and mapping of existing condominiums and tax description lines (including digital equalization records, ID numbers and distance measurement). In the comprehensive coverage, parcels of interest to the newly formed Arenac County land bank will be given extra attention to show mapping results and additional available layers from the state and federal layers that are relevant.

“This information can be used for all sorts of different people and purposes,” Sancimino said. “Someone looking to insure their property can use topographical maps to see flood plans and things like that.”

Sancimino says Phase I also includes the Spicer Group installing GIS on county computers and technical assistance and training with the new equipment for county staff. These steps will make the processing and researching of land parcels significantly quicker, he added.

“Any errors in records pertaining to individual (land) parcels will be found once the extensive surveying is complete,” Sancimino said. “Cross-checking (parcels) hadn’t been done in the past.”

Sancimino estimates that general coverage of Arenac County will be ready in eight to twelve weeks whereas the comprehensive mapping of Standish Township will take a “couple of months” longer. Upon the full installation of the software, the Spicer Group will work with county staff to update and finalize GIS Phase I based on county needs.

Future phases will be developed in coordination with the Arenac County Board of Commissioners and may include any assortment of different projects such as advanced aerial photography, extended comprehensive coverage to units beyond Standish Township, mapping of infrastructure and more definitive parcel mapping.

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