Evart council approves purchasing GIS

EVART – A new, online feature will help area residents, staff, as well as prospective developers, know more about the city.

The Evart City Council approved spending $3,211.81 during its meeting on Monday night for a geographic information system. A GIS is designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage and present spatial and geographic data of a certain area.

In asking for council's approval, Evart Treasurer/Assessor Sarah Dvoracek praised the capabilities of the program and its creator, TopComp, of Traverse City.

“They will create a map which we can put online so that you will be able to go to our website, pull up the map and through GIS, you will be able to hover over a parcel and see the owner's name, the parcel ID number and the GIS coordinates,” she said. “It's really awesome stuff.”

Dvoracek said by utilizing the GIS, the city can use it as a fundamental foundation for water, sewer maintenance and even assessing.

The assessor said TopComp was recommended to the city by Richmond Township, which recently had it completed, with funding from its downtown development authority.

“They had nothing but great things to say about them and how they worked with Richmond Township,” she said. “The turnaround time on this is five to six weeks. It can be done before the reappraisals are done and for our Audit of Minimum Assessing Requirements in 2018.”

Dvoracek said the GIS tool also is a huge economic development tool being utilized by many municipalities.

“It's phenomenal what they can do,” council member Dan Elliott added.

Dvoracek said the GIS feature will go very well with the finishing touches being done on a new city website.

“The website is going to be new and improved,” she told council members. “The new website is amazing. It will make you want to move to Evart.

“The company we're using strictly focuses on municipal governments, so it will be geared toward us. It's almost done, and it's going to be updated very soon. You'll be shocked.”

In other news from Monday's meeting, City Manager Zack Szakacs updated council members about the latest test results on the perchlorate sampling in the city's well field.

“Friday we received our permit for Well 2 allowing us to pump that one to waste,” he informed the council. “That's the only one with the higher number right now, but the numbers have drastically decreased.

“Once Well 2 starts pumping, I think down the road just a little bit, we'll have that well field all cleaned out and moving forward. Then, Nestle will be able to get Well 13A running.”

Other action from Monday's meeting included council tabling its goals for 2017, with hopes to get the top 10 goals set at its next meeting.

Council members also received their first look at the 2017-18 fiscal year budget. In its early stages, Szakacs said members will be able to schedule workshops for the budget at their next meeting.

The City Council also appointed resident Joyce Huston to the housing commission.

Officials approved a resolution to correct the times of a current resolution on alternate dates for the Board of Review. As corrected, the times for the Board of Review are 9 a.m. until noon and 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15, and 3 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, March 16.

Mayor Casey Keysor was unable to attend Monday's meeting.

The next Evart City Council meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at city hall.