GIS: Minutes April 26


{State of CT Geospatial Information Systems Council}

GIS Council Meeting
April 26, 2006



Members Present

Diane Wallace, DOIT

George Pohorilak, DPS

James Thomas, DEMHS

Patrick Ladd, Town of West Hartford

Scott Roberts, Town of South Windsor

Erik Snowden, Regional Planning (CROG)

Sandy Prisloe, UCONN

Raymond Philbrick, DPW

Angelo Asaro, DOT

Stephen Lowrey, Town of Tolland

Derek Phelps, CSC

Stuart Fitzgerald, DECD

Bill Palomba, DPUC

Wayne Kasacek, DOA

Dan Morley, OPM

Steve Fish, DEP

Tyler Kleykamp, DPH

Dennis Barry, DSS

Michael Varney, DOIT


Interim Workgroup Members

Janet Ainsworth, DPS

Jim Spencer, DOT

Members Absent

LTC Gerald Luwkowski, Military

Anthony Andosca, CCSU


Call to Order


CIO Wallace called meeting to order at 3 p.m.

Old Business


March 22 GIS Meeting Minutes

CIO Wallace asked for acceptance and approval of the March 22 GIS Council Meeting minutes.  Commissioner Thomas put forth a motion to accept, George Pohorilak seconded, all in favor, none opposed.

Project Management Office

CIO Wallace reported that the Project Management Office is officially established, Mike Varney is the Project Manager and GIS workspace is available at 101 East River Drive.  Mike has already been very involved with GIS, Security and Disaster Recovery issues.  He will also be the Project Manager for the Hurricane GIS initiative under DEMHS. CIO Wallace asked Mike to give an update on current activities of the Project Management Office. 

Mike reported that a meeting was scheduled for April 27 to discuss the development of strategic business plans for the Council and Council activities as required by the USGS Category 3 grant. Mike invited Council members to participate if interested requesting they send him an email or give him a call at 622-2462.  Mike clarified that the USGS Category 3 Grant is for the data gathering to develop strategic objectives and work plans – not for the actual infrastructure build to be executed once business needs and requirements have been defined.

Mike reported that the Interim Council has done a lot of work establishing content for their GIS Website that never went live.  He will be reviewing and moving content as appropriate to the new GIS Website.  Mike asked Council members to submit ideas for the Website, or to let him know if there is specific information they would like to see posted.  


GIS Interim Council Workgroups


A brief review and discussion of the Workgroups established within the Governor’s Interim Geospatial Council (GIGC) took place:

  • Data and Inventory Assessment Workgroup – Jim Spencer read the workgroup’s mission statement:  To establish policies, standards and general procedures related to the submission, evaluation, maintenance, on-line access, and dissemination of all geospatial data within the purview of the GIGC.  Jim reported this workgroup consisted of 12 to 15 members from interested agencies, municipalities, regional entities and consultants.  Jim told the Council this workgroup is critical to the assessment of GIS infrastructure, data collection and implementation plans and should remain active within the new GIS Council.  Jim distributed two reports – State of Texas Digital Base Map Plan and a working draft of the State of CT Digital Base Map Plan.  Tyler Kleykamp put forth a motion to reestablish the workgroup, Steve Fish seconded, all in favor, none opposed.
  • Structure and Process workgroup – Jim Spencer read the workgroup’s mission statement:  To work on behalf of the GIGC membership to prepare a draft report to the Governor containing its legislative recommendations for establishment of a permanent council within the state to manage the network on geospatial information and technology.  The workgroup will establish the initial framework in which the Connecticut Geospatial Information Systems Council (CGISC) will function.  This framework will be drafted into a set of bylaws for the CGISC to adopt.  Jim reported this workgroup had representation from major state agencies and the Office of Policy and Management (OPM).  The group drafted the statutory language for the GIGC and developed draft bylaws.  Since the workgroup’s mission was accomplished, and the new GIS Council established with bylaws, Jim recommended other workgroups such as the Legal and Security, could address issues regarding structure and process.  Commissioner Thomas put forth a motion to reestablish the Structure and Process Workgroup, Derek Phelps seconded.  After discussion a vote was taken and the motion failed; none in favor hence this Workgroup is formally abolished.
  • Legal and Security Workgroup - Janet Ainsworth read the workgroup’s mission statement:  To guide the GIGC through legal issues with other state agencies, Federal agencies, municipalities, regional agencies, quasi-public agencies, private sector and contractors.  To oversee legal responsibilities of and mange the Council’s agreements to the sharing of data while ensuring data security, as required by the originating agencies with a sensitivity towards and implications of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI).  Janet reported this workgroup met on many occasions and even participated with interviews in the landmark lawsuit in Greenwich, CT.  She stressed the importance of protecting critical infrastructure information, and that this may need to be addressed by the Legislature.  Janet recommends this workgroup stay active within the new GIS Council.  Discussion continued regarding concerns of the types of information available, individual agency needs and confidentiality; the State’s FOI requirements have not been updated to reflect the way we retain information, and Legislation is critical to protecting information.  Steve Fish commented on the importance of this workgroup reviewing national and state activity relating to legal and security. George Pohorilak put forth a motion to reestablish a Legal and Security Workgroup, Bill Palomba seconded, all in favor, none opposed.
  • Training and Education – Steve Fish read the workgroup’s mission statement:  To provide high-quality, low-cost, GIS software and geospatial database training for employees of the State of Connecticut and those of towns, cities and regional entities who use geospatial data.  Steve reported the primary deliverable of this workgroup was the survey report and gave a brief overview of survey results.  Steve believes this workgroup should remain active as it will be critical when applications begin to rollout.  Dennis Barry requested the workgroup name change to Training and Public Education.  Wayne Kasacek put forth a motion to reestablish the Training and Education Workgroup, Angelo Asaro and Stuart Fitzgerald seconded, all in favor, none opposed.
Regarding the Interim Training and Education Workgroup, CIO Wallace reported that a new representative from Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) with experience in GIS has been appointed to the Council.

In response to a question regarding the Finance Group activities, Steve Fish read the Finance Groups mission statement:  Finance, shall for the purposes of funding the activities of the Council, research, evaluate and coordinate efforts with all potential funding sources.  As directed by the Council, the workgroup shall have the authority to apply for Federal Grants.  Steve reported this group never really got off the ground, however, is a critical group to the Council.  It will be extremely important for the Finance workgroup to identify and coordinate priority funding both at the state and federal level.  Dan Morely reported that OPM will be responsible for the administration and management of GIS funding for the Council.  Commissioner Thomas put forth a motion to reestablish a Finance Workgroup, George Pohorilak seconded, all in favor, none opposed.

CIO Wallace requested Mike Varney recommend Workgroup Chairs and members for presentation at the next Council meeting.

New Business


USDA/State GIS Partnership - Department of Agriculture (DOA) has been in consultation with  USDA regarding their agency’s business needs.  In an effort to leverage GIS solutions, Wayne Kasacek asked Marilu Soileau, USDA Program Specialist-GIS, CT & RI region, to give the Council an overview of USDA’s GIS program. 


USDA’s national imagery program (annual flyovers of the US and dissemination of imagery to individual states) is in jeopardy due to budget cuts.  USDA is looking for funding partners on the state and local levels, as well as nonprofits to keep the program going.  Since DOA is already working with USDA, a funding partnership with the GIS Council and DOA for the 2007 flyover could be very beneficial to Connecticut.  Funding investment was quoted at $50K for statewide data at 1 meter resolution, or $80K for statewide data at 2 meter resolution.  Marilu told the Council that USDA has an enormous amount of Connecticut GIS information they would like to share with CT.   While this partnership could benefit many state agencies with GIS business requirements, USDA prefers to work through one entity representing multiple other bodies of interest.

CIO Wallace asked Council members interested to contact Wayne Kasacek.  She also asked Mike Varney to work with Wayne regarding this opportunity.  CIO Wallace offered help from DOIT for financial analysis and suggested Wayne work with the Data and Inventory Assessment and Finance Workgroups.

General Services Administration / Office Management and Budget (GSA/OMB) Request for Information (RFI)


Mike Varney reported that GSA/OMB put out an RFI looking for information on how organizations such as Connecticut handles the use/governance of Geospatial data – specifically for emergency/long term recovery and research.  They are really just looking to glean some best practices and uses out in the field.  Jim Spencer and Mike are working together to develop a draft response.  Mike will share with the Council for feedback prior to submission.  While there is no requirement to respond, there are some good questions and Mike feels we should respond as a Council. 


ESRI Conference


Mike Varney reported this conference is scheduled for August 7-11 in San Diego.  In the past, members of the Council have sent representation from their respective agency.  Mike would like to coordinate participation for agencies planning to participate this year to ensure the best value for the State. Please contact Mike if interested.

Sandy Prisloe reported there is also a mini ESRI northeast conference in November, more regionally focused.  Additional information regarding this conference will be posted on the GIS Website or Council members can go to

Other Business


Scott Roberts reported that the Capital Region Council of Governments (CROG), consisting of 29 towns/municipalities would like to aid in our GIS efforts.  CROG has requested an overview of our GIS efforts to date. Mike Varney and Erik Snowden, who are both members of CROG will get more detailed information specific to their request. 




George Pohorilak reported that DPH has an updated Tele-atlas four year enterprise license which is available to any public agency.  Contact George at 860-685-8108 if interested.

Jim Spencer reported they had finally received delivery of the hard drives for the 2004 statewide orthophotography data.  Once DOT has completed quality assurance and control on the data they will make it available to all interested parties.



CIO asked if there was any other new business to discuss.  Derek Phelps put forth a motion to adjourn, Tyler Kleykamp seconded, all in favor, none opposed.  Meeting adjourned.

Content Last Modified on 12/6/2006 12:23:25 PM