GIS: Minutes January 24, 2007

{State of CT Geospatial Information Systems Council}

GIS Council Meeting

 January 24, 2007




Members Present

Andy Asaro, DOT

Tyler Kleykamp, for Dan Morley, OPM

Patrick Ladd, Town of West Hartford

Mike Varney, DOIT

Diane Wallace, DOIT

Richard Gallacher, Town of Manchester

Steve Fish, DEP

Skip Thomas, DEMHS

Erik Snowden, Regional Planning (CROG)

George Pohorilak, DPS

Stuart Fitzgerald, DECD

Tony Andosca, CSU

Dennis Barry, DSS

Stephen Lowrey, Town of Tolland

Sandy Prisloe, UConn

Scott Roberts, Town of South Windsor


Members Absent

Raymond Philbrick, DPW

Dan Morley, OPM

LTC Gerald Luwkowski, Military

Derek Phelps, Siting Council

Wayne Kasacek, DOA

Bill Palomba, DPUC


Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 3 p.m.


Review of December 27 Minutes

Chairwoman Wallace asked for discussion of the December 27, 2006 GIS Council meeting minutes.  No discussion ensued. Chairwoman Wallace called for a motion to accept the meeting minutes.  Council member Commissioner Thomas motioned to accept; Council member Fish seconded.  All in favor, none opposed.  Motion carried. 


Data and Inventory Assessment Working Group

Jim Spencer (Data and Inventory Assessment Working Group Chair) reported the group is working on recruiting new membership to participate in sub-committee level workgroups.  He cited orthoimagery as being just one of the very important components of GIS and as such should be researched and managed at a sub-committee level.  He also discussed additional funding sources that are available through Homeland Security, and other key stakeholder agencies, citing the importance of leveraging all funding to reach and impact as many GIS programs possible.


Legal and Security Working Group

There was nothing new to report for this meeting.    


Training and Education Working Group

Sandy Prisloe (Council member and Working Group Co-chair) reported that a schedule has been set to hold regular meetings every six weeks.  They are researching online training and educational course opportunities through ESRI.  They will make recommendations of course and training opportunities to the Council whose members in turn will bring these back to their agency for review and feedback. 


Several questions were asked regarding course and training opportunities for the municipalities and regional planning offices.  With regard to online training courses, a question was asked regarding the need for a formal Request for Information (RFI) in order to discuss training options with representatives from companies that could offer such training.  Chairwoman Wallace suggested anyone wanting to develop a RFI to work with Mike Varney.


There was discussion around the GIS Website regarding showcasing town and municipality GIS activities.  The group continues to seek additional participation.  Mike Varney reminded everyone to send any information, including web links that are GIS related so it can be incorporated into the Website.


Council member Prisloe and Co-Chair Sandgren discussed an opportunity to develop a 2007 calendar that would include a map for each month and could possibly be distributed on GIS Day.


It was noted that former Council member Tyler Kleykamp will be joining the Training and Education Working Group.


Finance Working Group Recommendations

Steve Fish (Council member and Working Group Chair) reported that this group had not met yet this year in 2007.  He discussed the need to have a clear strategic business plan and expressed the importance of aligning the Finance Working Group and it’s objectives with the Council’s strategic business plan to help guide the Working Group and the acquisition of critical funding necessary to carry on the activities of the Council and of the State’s GIS initiative.  He also discussed the need to amend the current language of Public Act 05-03 to establish an appropriation of state funds to pay for annual costs associated with data acquisition and maintenance; hardware and software; and to fund GIS technical positions for DOIT.  Additionally, he expressed the need to begin an education process that clearly defines the process, approach, phases and deliverables of GIS to help show the positive outcome for Connecticut residents.  Collaborative efforts among several key agencies need to begin in order to continue pursuing grant opportunities.  It should also be determined whether or not it is feasible to pursue long term funding mechanisms such as “charge backs” to agencies and municipalities for geospatial services or set fees to agencies.


Chairwoman Wallace reiterated that the first step to securing funding, amending language and gaining support is to have a completed strategic business plan, stating the plan will allow us to determine the projects and priorities critical to the key stakeholders which in turn will serve as the means to make a strong business case for funding.  Additionally noted was the funds are now available to hire staff support.  Council member Commissioner Thomas emphasized a key factor in obtaining support is the ability to show a cost benefit from the beginning to ongoing sustainability of GIS initiatives.


The importance of Council members networking and educating others on GIS initiatives was also emphasized. 


DEMHS GIS Project Update

Mike Varney (Project Manager) gave the following update:  The enterprise architecture design has been developed from the infrastructure and technical meetings that have been ongoing.  They are waiting for the final document to come back so it can be finalized by DOIT.  Once finalized, procurement of hardware and software can proceed.  


The database design is being constructed and state data collection is ongoing.  The application design is in final review stages to allow for initial enterprise environment development.  Next steps are to finalize the infrastructure design and order hardware; continue the database inventory and assessment process; approve the application design; and to hold meetings with regional and municipal partners.      


The municipal data collection and information meeting date is set for February 22, 2007.  Mike Varney would like a representative from municipality and regional planning groups from each region to attend.  He asked Council members from the municipalities and regional planning offices to help identify five to six individuals from each of the municipal groups represented on the Council, trying to have one represented from each of the DEMHS regions, to attend the meeting.  Local emergency management, fire and law enforcement are also being invited.   He will send an email follow-up with information regarding the meeting.


Update of USGS Grants

Mike Varney (Project Manager) gave the following update:  The funds became available for the Strategic & Business Planning grant on January 11.  A conference call was held today (January 24) with all grant recipients with the next meeting to be scheduled within the next two weeks based on availability of members.  A consultant will be hired to draft the strategic and business plan.


Additionally, funding just became available for the Information Portal on January 11.  A training program for ESRI’s SDE software is being scheduled to be held in Connecticut by end of March.  Interstate meetings are being scheduled to meet with NY, RI, and MA to review organizations, processes, data and review cooperative data sharing agreements.


The RFP for supplemental assistance to the Data and Inventory Working Group and the Training and Education Working Group is in the final stages of completion.


New Business

Scott Roberts (Council member) discussed a request from the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association (CT APA) for a mention of the State’s GIS activities on their web page.  Project Manager Mike Varney was chosen as the point of contact for CT APA.



Chairwoman Wallace reviewed and discussed five current proposed bills related to GIS – all similar in content.  She asked the Council to get involved and attend meetings when the Legislature is in session in order to ensure perspectives and insights are shared.   


Chairwoman Wallace discussed Proposed Bill No. 6008 – AN ACT REQUIRING THE STATE TO PURCHASE GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM SOFTWARE.  Its purpose is “To promote efficiency by making this resource centrally available rather than every town having to buy it.”  She, the Legal and Security Working Group and Mike Varney will meet to develop the messages critical to support this bill.  Chairwoman Wallace asked Janet Ainsworth of the Legal & Security Working group to draft a document for this purpose. OPM designee Tyler Kleykamp said there are also a few other proposed bills concerning SmartGrowth and GIS which could have potential to gain support.  He will copy the Legal and Security Working Group Chair.


Chairwoman Wallace discussed the importance of tracking all activities taking place regarding GIS, and asked the Council to send any other information or proposals regarding GIS to Working Group Chairwoman Brenda Bergeron or herself. Council member Steve Fish mentioned that the language in the new proposed bills is the same as in the past.  It would help to identify the champion(s) of the bills so the Council can begin educating them to all the needs and benefits of GIS.



Chairwoman Wallace asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Council member Ladd motioned to adjourn; Council member Prisloe seconded.  All in favor, none opposed.  Motion carried.




Content Last Modified on 2/28/2007 4:34:35 PM