The Phelps County Commission on Thursday signed a contract with Pictometry International Corp. to provide the county with updated aerial images of every parcel in the county.
Approval of the contract came after another vendor expressed interest in providing aerial photography of the county and then retracted its offer one day later.
County Assessor Bill Wiggins told commissioners during their meeting Dec. 27 that Fugro EarthData Inc. sent an email expressing interest in the county’s project after reading about it in The Rolla Daily News.
Wiggins told county commissioners earlier this month that several counties have purchased the pictometry system without seeking bids because the company has patents on technology that allows for oblique 45-degree angle images with geo-reference information that no other known company has currently.
The oblique images would provide the county with images of the sides of structures to help the county determine measurements and types of siding for reassessment purposes.
The county published a legal notice regarding the county’s intent to make a single feasible source purchase through the Pictometry firm in The Rolla Daily News Dec. 13 and that any vendors interested in providing what Pictometry could offer were to contact the county by Dec. 26.
An initial email from Fugro on Dec. 26 stated that the company can provide those services to the county.
Wiggins contacted Fugro “to verify that they really can provide the specifics that we need,” he said. “I gave them the specs and after consulting with their vice president, they decided to retract their interest in our proposal.
The email retracting Fugro’s interest stated, “Fugro EarthData, Inc is no longer interested in pursuing your oblique imagery opportunity.”
It did not give a reason, but Wiggins said Fugro’s technology uses a different camera design and has a different way of capturing the oblique images. Wiggins also said when he requested references from Fugro, they declined to give any.
Additionally, Wiggins said Fugro company officials were unsure if their technology could integrate with the county’s and City of Rolla’s software.
Because Fugro rescinded its interest, the county was able to move forward with a single feasible source purchase from Pictometry International Corp.
Wiggins said because the contract was signed before the end of the year, Phelps County will be included on the company’s flight schedule in early 2013, which will help with Wiggins’ reassessments next year.
Two more flyovers would take place in 2015 and 2017, but Wiggins said the contract allows the entities involved the chance to cancel the second and third flights at no cost if they don’t feel the flyovers are needed.
Through pictometry, low-flying planes capture pictures of the land and produce orthographic images, which are photos taken looking straight down, and oblique images, which are taken at a 45-degree angle, in high resolution.
Page 2 of 2 - Both the Phelps County Emergency Services Board (PCESB) and City of Rolla have agreed to contribute funds toward the project since pictometry would benefit several county and city departments, such as the county assessor, law enforcement agencies, public works, emergency responders as well as planning and zoning among others. Wiggins said the contract signed by the commission would also be given to the PCESB and City of Rolla to sign.
Under the proposed payment schedule, the PCESB would pay $10,000 each year for six years, with the city’s share being $39,609.50 over the six-year period and the county’s share would be divided among the assessor’s office ($72,976.50), sheriff’s office ($72,976.50), prosecutor’s office ($10,000), and collector’s office ($450) for the six-year contract, for a grand total among all entities being $256,012.50.
The total portions from the prosecutor’s office and collector’s office would be paid in 2012.
In 2013, $6,354.78 from the assessor’s office and $4,917.97 from the sheriff’s office would be paid along with $10,000 each from the PCESB and Rolla.
In 2014, $13,942.28 from the assessor’s office and $11,155.47 from the sheriff’s office would be paid along with $10,000 each from the PCESB and Rolla.
The last time aerial images of the county were taken was around 2007, according to Wiggins.