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Home August 18, 2004 Agenda & Minutes
MEETING: Maine Library of Geographic Information Board
NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, September 15, 2004 – Burton M. Cross Building – Conference Room 107
Maine GeoLibrary Board Meeting
MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE
John, Chair to the Board, opened the meeting asking those present to introduce themselves, so done.
Agenda Item #1: Approval of the May 19th Board Meeting Minutes
The Board was asked for any comments/corrections to the May minutes. A request was made to replace the word “suppository” with “repository”. A motion was made to accept the minutes as amended and seconded. The Board, by a show of hands, unanimously voted to accept the minutes as amended.
Item #2: Update on Grant Proposals from Larry Harwood
Larry noted the contracts had been written, sent to the qualifying towns for signature, and about ½ of them have been returned. More information is being gathered from some towns to complete contracts.
Larry explained to the Board an issue involving the scoring process for South Portland. A math error in the spreadsheet resulted in South Portland getting a score of 62.2 and the score should have been 85.5. After finding this error, Larry noted that all documents/awards were reviewed and no other scoring errors where found. He contacted Betty Lamoreau from the Division of Purchases to discuss what steps to take with this. Betty’s recommendation was that the Board would have to award South Portland a grant for the amount requested. After an extensive discussion on how the Board could award the South Portland grant using monies available for the second round of grants, a motion was made to award the requested grant to South Portland using monies from the balance/surplus of already budgeted money. The motion was seconded, and with a show of hands the Board unanimously approved awarding the South Portland grant.
Item #3: Update of the Tech Subcommittee on Infrastructure, Interoperability, & Interface by Will Mitchell
Will noted the committee had met this morning and over the summer months had worked on the RFP. They decided to wait a couple of months to get back together. Some of the materials used for the RFP came out of the Geospatial One Stop initiative and were tailored for the Maine GeoLibrary needs. Will felt they had a good foundation to go forward with the RFP and are working with MEGIS staff to finalize the requirements section. A “draft” of the RFP will be available to the Board at the September meeting.
Prior to the September meeting, the Committee (TSIII) will do more research on the potential cost of doing one of these portals, putting together justification to the Board to approve the money needed to support the contract, and work on getting a sense of scale/range of costs. At the September meeting an RFP with the needed dollar amount will be brought to the Board. At this time the RFP will be in development and will go public late September/October.
The Board can view request for comments at GeoOneStop.gov. Will (via e-mail) to send the Board a concept paper written by C Brown (ESRI) on portals. John Holden asked that the Board be given any necessary information/materials to look at prior to reviewing the RFP such as budget line items.
Item #4: FGDC Grant Proposals by Dan Walters
Dan updated the Board on grant proposals applied for and awarded. Proposals for three (3) separate categories were submitted and out of the three, two were funded: 1) $15,000 for metadata preparation and technical assistance, 2) $15,000 for facilitated meetings and evaluation of counties’ potential GIS usage, and 3) Not funded, assistance from USGS for the development of tools to edit hydrography in an Enterprise System. This proposal may be a little bit ahead of its time and we will re-submit next year.
It was noted the #2 grant proposal for $15,000 requires matching funds to enable the grant. Dan mentioned that the Finance Committee had met with the County Commissioners Association to talk about funding to continue operations of the GeoLibrary Board. Some of the funding resources explored and open to discussion were real estate transfer taxes, recording of deeds, and land registrations. Dan has also met with Maine Emergency Management staff, state agencies, and county MEMA associates to discuss matching funds.
The $15,000 grant and matching funds of $15,000 (total $30,000) would include hiring a consultant to facilitate focus group sessions with three members from each county. They would meet to explore how they are thinking of using GIS, identify common elements, get them thinking on what their relationship is with the GeoLibrary and state agencies, and possibly become more involved in supporting the efforts of the Maine GeoLibrary. Dan noted of the $30,000 approximately $12,000 would fund the travel/food expenses for county officials and $18,000 for the consultant to set up focus group sessions, facilitate them using Resolve 23 as a guide, and finalize the project by producing a high level GIS strategic plan for counties and a funding model. It was noted that the grant would not be awarded without the matching funds. An extensive discussion followed as to whether this was a good road to travel. Is this a good use of the GeoLibrary money knowing how limited the finances are?
Robert Faunce noted that some counties are more progressive than others in GIS and some are not aware of GIS at all. He did state that Lincoln County would provide $1,500.00 toward the matching funds leaving a balance of $13,500 to be acquired. Jim Page commented that having these sessions was an excellent idea but did not feel the GeoLibrary should commit itself to any particular outcome until it had settled certain strategic questions internally. Dan responded that the GeoLibrary was committing only to the sessions and a report. John Holden noted that these sessions would be coordinated and members of the Board should participate in these sessions, showing Board support in that way.
Further discussions included whether or not counties would be interested in providing these types of GIS services, not something counties usually do. Robert Faunce noted at this time that Lincoln County does provide GIS services, and he also commented that County Commissioners do not fully understand the needs of GIS and these sessions would serve as a good resource for educating. There could be a role/possibility for counties to become involved. John Holden noted these sessions would be an exploratory process at this point.
Other topics of discussion in support of or not in support of the $15,000 GeoLibrary/County grant included: 1) looking at the scope Resolve 23 to set up regional service centers to provide GIS services, 2) should we be creating functions within county governments when they already exist in state and municipal government, 3) allocating money that could be used for existing projects, 4) putting the money toward entities that have data and are capable of serving it up, 5) the state needs to go towards stronger regional GIS roles, 6) this grant would get counties more educated, 7) possibly get funding to allow the Board to support data that can be used regionally, 8) using this as a marketing tool for making a case for tapping into other available financial resources, 9) need to avoid duplication of services, 10) need to address the strategic questions and Resolve 23, 11) possibility of running into competition with GIS vendors, 12) need to look a the original scope from Resolve 23 given the Board was to gather data and make it available to the public via Service Centers.
John Holden pointed out that there were three major issues before the Board. 1. Matching the $15,000 grant to explore county use of GIS, 2. Setting up Regional Services Centers and what that means, and 3. Board does have limited money and should this money be used for some other activities. The Board needs to come to a decision to support this grant or not to support.
Dan Walters asked the Board to put aside the issue of funding for now and to look at this as an opportunity to connect with folks who could have funding sources available to the GeoLibrary. He noted that Lincoln, Aroostook, and Cumberland counties are starting to use GIS services. We need to persuade folks from going off independently and provide an opportunity to ensure what ever happens is done in a way that is most cost effective to the state and benefit to the GeoLibrary.
A suggestion was made for the Board to fund less than the $13,500 and find someone else to help with the matching. Dan commented on MEMA helping out with matching funds. At this time, Jim Page asked where the Board stands on a monthly basis with the budget. Dan noted some savings have been demonstrated.
A motion was made for the Board to fund $6,750 and the Board asked Dan Walters to research other areas for matching the remaining funds needed. Motion seconded, the Board (by a show of hands) voted seven (7) YES and four (4) OPPOSED to match the funding for $6,750. Motion passed.
Item #5: Update on the Land Use/Land Cover Project by Dan Walters/Barbara Charry
A contract has been signed and the vendor has acquired Spot imagery. Mike Smith from the Department of Environmental Protection is the Manager for this project and reports that everything is moving forward and completion date is expected sometime in May of 2005. This promises to be a success story. Ray Halperin suggested that the Board be sent a paragraph or two of major project updates and they also be posted on the website.
Item #6: Update GeoLibrary Work Plan and Funding by John Holden
John reported there was no update on the budget at this time and asked Dan to update the Board on a monthly basis on GeoLibrary finances.
A discussion of future work plans for the Board included looking into the upsides/downsides of the Palesky proposal http://www.memun.org/resources/Public/news/pp/main.htm to be part of the November 2, 2004 ballot. What will the impact be if passed? Paul Mateosian commented that he had attended several seminars on this proposal and he felt it would not be possible t do projections on this at this time. This may not have an impact on matching grants and staffing in the first year, if passed.
A question was raised regarding putting in a request to the Legislature for monies for the GeoLibrary. Ray Halperin commented that is was critical the Board get some discussion on funding going and that it be on the agenda for September’s meeting. The request needs to go to the Governor’s Office by October 1 and the Board needs to find committee support from the Legislature. The Board needs to decide what it is going to ask for. Board operating funds will wind up in the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee for review/approval. It was also noted that a new legislature will be coming in.
John Holden offered to meet with Seth Barker and Elizabeth Hertz from the GIS Executive Council to work on how to approach this matter and present to the Legislature. The Board discussed conducting presentations during Legislative sessions.
Moving forward with the agenda, Item #7 Discussion on Electronic Voting was brought before the Board for discussion only. Some members felt this was not a good source for voting, maybe could be used if voting on a final report previously reviewed by the Board, and does the voting effect the budget in any way? Could the Board hold a conference call before voting is taken electronically? Ray Halperin noted this was a way of taking care of business expeditiously, however, in the interest of allowing discussion and public discussion would this be a productive resource. What is the item being voted on, some items might be appropriate. This might not be an appropriate voting resource involving official business. Jim Page noted that because the Board was remarkably good in reaching a consensus for face to face input was invaluable, and because it deprived the Board of public input from those attending meetings, electronic voting may not be a good resource. John Holden thanked the Board for a good discussion and their thoughts on electronic voting and he did have a clear idea on the Board’s feelings on this.
Item #8: Update on Expiring Board Member Terms by Larry Harwood
Larry reported that he had received reappointments for Marilyn Lutz and Paul Mateosian. The Office of the Speaker of the House is waiting for the letter of reappointment for Jon Giles, which should be in before the September meeting. Also, the Board needs a replacement for John Holden (representing Regional Councils) whose term expires in September and will not be seeking another term of office. John Holden will work with the State Planning Office to find a replacement for John from the Statewide Association of Regional Councils. A question was asked regarding Ed Suslovic’s term which expires September 2005. John Holden will contact Ed and ask if he will continue on the Board.
Jim Page brought before the Board a motion to thank John Holden for his leadership as Chair to the Board from its inception. The motion was seconded by acclamation for the work John has done in moving the Board forward in its endeavors/accomplishments. John thanked the Board for giving him the opportunity which was a productive learning process in overseeing the Board.
John Holden noted he would work to have someone from the Regional Councils at the September meeting, if not, at the October meeting and he would attend the September meeting.
Item #10: Other Business/Updates
It was noted that the APA Review of Proposed Digital Parcel Standards would be advertised on August 24th, with a comment until October 8, and no formal hearing would be held. Jon Giles asked if the committee would need to get back together again to review any comments with a response of yes.
Next Board meeting is September 15, 2004. Agenda items to include:
Completing the Board’s business, a motion to adjourn meeting at 12:20 p.m., so done.
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