By BRADEN LAMMERS
A request brought before the Jeffersonville Redevelopment Commission at a recent meeting prompted a call for better planning and communication from at least one commission member.
Clark County Assessor Vicky Kent-Haire requested $42,000 from the redevelopment commission to complete a pictometry flyover to update the county’s GIS website.
“The flyover we have right now is a 2010 flyover, and in my world that is absolutely obsolete,” Kent-Haire said. “The county as a whole cannot afford the flyover.”
The GIS system maps property information in the county, including property records, aids in property assessment and includes information like sewer line locations among other information. Kent-Haire said the town of Clarksville has already signed the agreement, as have the Clark County Commissioners, and she was on-hand to request payment from Jeffersonville last week.
“If we do not get this signed by Christmas, we will not have a flyover until the fall,” Kent-Haire added. “If it doesn’t get signed tonight, it’ll probably be out a year.”
She said the flyover needs to be done when there are no leaves on the trees, either early-spring or fall, to get the best images of the properties. But the suddenness of the request — and that the request was presented to the redevelopment commission — caused some members of the board to balk at approving the funding.
“I see a great benefit from this, I hope we do it,” said Commission Member James Lake. “[But] this is the first we’ve ever heard of it, the first we’ve seen of it, it’s been redrafted for this commission to pay for it. It’s never been discussed with us.”
The draft agreement presented to the redevelopment commission listed the Jeffersonville City Council as the entity on the agreement.
“I think it’s a great tool, I’m just questioning whether redevelopment is the right home for it,” Lake said.
Kent-Haire explained that the agreement has only been presented to the commission now because she did not know if the funding was going to be available from the county. She said she just recently found out the money would be available, which is why the request has just now appeared before the redevelopment commission. She added the agreement that listed the council in error and a new draft had the redevelopment commission listed as the funding board.
“I think this has been handled awkwardly and poorly,” said Commission Member Jack Vissing.
But Kent-Haire and city Controller Monica Harmon said the redevelopment commission will benefit from the updated flyover. Harmon said the city’s wastewater, redevelopment and planning and zoning departments would all be helped by an updated system.
“You will benefit more than $42,000 from this within the redevelopment [department],” Kent-Haire said. “That is not even a question.”
But Lake reiterated that it was not fair to the commission to be forced to vote on request that they just learned about.
“I think I know the solution,” said Redevelopment Commission Attorney Les Merkley. “It seems to me like you have three entities that have a pot of money that’s going to benefit from this: redevelopment, sewer board and the city council. It seems like the fairest and simplest way to do it is have everybody pay a third.”
The commission voted to table funding the flyover by a vote of 3-2, with Commission Members Kevin LaGrange and R. Monty Snelling voting against.
Following the vote, Lake made a motion to dedicate up to 50 percent of the cost from the redevelopment commission, which was unanimously approved.
Industrial Parkway improvements
A request for a geotechnical engineering study requested by Josh Hillman, engineer with Jacobi, Toombs and Lanz Inc., was unanimously approved at Thursday’s meeting.
Hillman explained the request would allow an engineering firm to take core samples of the road, which is just south of research drive in the Jeffersonville industrial park, to determine what needs to be done to improve it.
“Before we can really make a valuable cost estimate of what those improvements would do or what they would be, we would like to know what the pavement structure is,” Hillman said. “The ultimate project would be an overlay or a pavement section that will beef it up to make it industrial strength.”
The geotechnical engineering study is estimated to cost $2,275.