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County works with the state on mapping project

Published: Feb. 17, 2021 at 8:04 PM EST
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CARIBOU, Maine (WAGM) -

A mapping program used by the state could improve municipal services and economic opportunities. Kathy McCarty has more.

A program used by Maine to map municipalities, forests and infrastructure in other counties, could be put to use in the near future here in Aroostook County. Woolpert, Inc., with offices throughout the U.S., has contracted to provide Global Information System, or GIS, mapping for the state.

“It’s a cost-sharing program where the state procures a vendor to do the service and then pays for two-thirds of the cost. The town managers asked me, as The County, to consider putting money aside to pick up that one-third of the cost. Otherwise, it would have had to have been paid for by each individual municipality,” says Ryan D. Pelletier, Administrator for Aroostook County.

County Administrator Ryan Pelletier says money is now being put into a reserve account, with the County’s portion estimated to be about $57,000.

Pelletier says, “We have about half of that money put away now to do that piece of the GIS mapping for Aroostook County. So we’ll likely have another appropriation in next year’s budget and be able to do this work in 2022.”

The program offers basic mapping services, with additional options available for municipalities to purchase individually.

“It’ll provide a base layer of information for the communities to use for zoning, land use, regional assessing, tax mapping, that sort of thing. It’s kinda like Google Earth but just at a higher definition,” says Pelletier.

Pelletier says mapping will also benefit the forestry industry, as well as road maintenance. County Commissioners will meet Wednesday to continue discussion on the program, during their regular monthly meeting. Kathy McCarty, NewsSource 8

Pelletier says while the program doesn’t include the unorganized territories, he’s been talking with state officials about finding a way to include those areas of The County in the mapping project.

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