County seeking grant for arial photographs
Melissa Cason, Franklin County Times
The Franklin County Commission voted to apply for a grant from the Alabama Department of Revenue to provide the county with orthophotography, or Arial photographs of the county.
County Mapper Kathy Morgan said that grant would allow Franklin County's name to be put into a pot with other counties in Alabama wanting orthophotography as well. Then, the money is divided among those counties.
"They [the state] will send us a letter to let us know how much money will get [for the project], and we will have to send them a contract showing that we are having the mapping done before checks are sent," Morgan told the commission.
The last Arial photographs of the county were taken in 1998, and made public in 1999, making the current mapping system out of date, and difficult to work with, Morgan said.
"The rule of thumb [once we get the first maps done] is to update every four years," Morgan said.
She added that the maps will not be in real time, and they do not use GPS in any way.
Once the maps are complete, they will be uploaded onto the Internet, so that different people, for a fee, can view it.
"It's a wonderful tool," interim EMA director Roy Gober said.
"It [can] save us weeks and months on getting things rebuilt [in case of a disaster]."
Morgan said that the county really needs this mapping because disasters can strike at any time, and mapping can be used to help EMA officials know what type of properties were in the disaster areas.
"If we know what property is there, and we already know the estimated value of the property, we can get damage estimates into FEMA in one morning," Gober said.
The mapping can also be used a recruiting tools for prospective business wanting to locate in Franklin County. By using the Internet, businesses and industry can locate possible sites and other location, Gober said.
The next county commission meeting will be held Monday, Aug. 13, 2007 at 9 a.m. at the Courthouse Annex Building.