Allegany County to appropriate first $880,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds

Stock photo

BREAKING: Some $880,000 is slated to be appropriated tomorrow by Allegany County, NY, legislators for the first two projects to be paid for out of nearly $9 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds, one of them being some 40 percent more than initial estimates.

A three-year agreement with Pictometry International Corp. of Rochester, which is now part of EagleView Technologies of Bellevue, Wash., will allocate $185,985 biennially, or $557,955 total, for community-level aerial imagery flights of the entire county, together with property-level images of village and major hamlets.

County Administrator Carissa Knapp had told Allegany Hope Community News a few months ago that the initial project estimate was some $400,000, but it only was a “ballpark” number until actual quotations were received.

The last images of this type were made 15 years ago, she said, and aren’t of the same quality as those which will be obtained through the new project.

Services also will include software, fifty concurrent user licenses for access to the custom imagery libraries, disaster response flights after emergencies or disasters, training, and two year of maintenance and support.

Project uses
Knapp reported that use the images will:

– Provide accurate and quality aerial pictures of the County’s geographical area including forests, parks, towns, villages, and residential areas which will benefit many County departments as well as local municipalities.

– Create a reference point for Department of Public Works projects including the backdrop layer for Autocad drawings and a historical reference point of river and stream locations during the time-frame of the flights which are anticipated to occur this fall, along with the fall of 2024 and 2026.

– Enable the Office of Real Property to correlate deed and survey information with aerial imagery which could help identify the location of landmarks such as creeks, streams, railroad beds which are referenced in deeds, as well as show buildings referenced on surveys when new parcel lines are drawn.

– Assist with hazard mitigation plans and any potential related grants through use of the imagery, along with the ability to request post-disaster/emergency flights to document changes.

– Enhance the safety of county staff, such as in the Department of Social Services, who make home visits, by allowing them to have a more up-to-date visual overview of the exterior of properties prior to going on-site.

– Enable fire investigators to have better information regarding the pre-fire condition of properties and their surrounding areas.

– Assist with properties enumeration through the enhanced ability to verify address points and centerline locations to other data files, complete tasks such as drawing new road centerlines and new address points, comparing caller descriptions to geo-located photos, and investigating address discrepancies.

– Provide accurate and more up-to-date imagery to augment the ability of public safety dispatchers to verify addresses and locations for every call for service, inquire of potential on-site obstacles or confusing elements that the caller does not identify but the dispatcher sees on the imagery, and plan for the most appropriate ingress and egress for first responders and assist them with search and rescue or suspect location issues.

– Enable local governments to use the imagery library for their own governmental purposes.

Additional uses also are anticipated in the future.

Forest lands access project
The board also will vote on a $321,000 project to create gravel public parking areas, signage and information kiosks, protective barriers related to accessing roads, and picnic areas/pavilions on County forest lands on the C. Horner, Dixon, Engle, Helmer/Neetz, Metz/Griffin, and Travis lots within or bordering the Towns of Allen, Almond, Angelica, Birdsall, Grove, and West Almond.

Our previous report noted that an estimated $53,500 would be spent on each of the five sites with much of the work being undertaken by the Department of Public Works.

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