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Home March 17, 2004 Agenda & Minutes
MEETING: Maine Library of Geographic Information Board
GeoLibrary Board Meeting
Due to predicted severe weather conditions it was decided to cancel the scheduled meeting at MDOT. In order to handle some time critical matters of GeoLibrary Board business, it was decided to hold a meeting by conference call. Beginning about 10:30 a.m. Board members and guests logged in and upon achieving a quorum of Board members, the meeting began.
John Holden proposed that three items from the original March 17 agenda be acted upon in this conference: (1 Approval of the February 18th Board minutes, (2 Update on the Maine Land Cover Project, and (8 The annual report . All other business would be deferred to the next Board meeting. Barbara Charry noted that a discussion of item number 2 required information in number 7 Spending Potential Cost Savings. Dan Walters agreed to provide an abbreviated version of the cost savings report as part of item number 2. Otherwise, the Board accepted John’s proposal.
1. Approval of the February 18th Board minutes.
Jim Page moved to accept the February 18th minutes as drafted. The motion was seconded. The minutes were unanimously accepted.
2. Update Maine Land Cover Project
Dan Walters gave a short update on the latest spending figures and cost savings. Of the reported savings, four are certain as the agreements have been signed and the rest good estimates. The savings total $300,000. Several Board members wanted a figure for just the confirmed savings and Dan said he would try to calculate that after his report. The NRCS has contributed $400,000 to the orthophoto project. This means the total federal match is $1.2 million and the Geolibrary needs to find more federal matching. There were questions about what the bond money could be spent on. Tom Howker explained that bond monies cannot be spent on operating expenses or state employees; he likened the situation to being able to buy a house, but not maintain it. John Holden suggested moving ahead and discussing financial matters in detail at the next regular meeting.
Mike Smith began an explanation of the land use/and cover initiative. Mike provided this paragraph for the minutes:
“The land cover project seeks to refine current land cover data for Maine by creating a new 5-meter land cover layer and a new 5-meter partial imperviousness layer for Maine. This project has been in the works for about a year. The project is integrated tightly with USGS and NOAA efforts to map land cover, imperviousness, and canopy closure at the 30-meter level for Maine. This integration has been crucial because it allows Maine, USGS, and NOAA to share many of the costs of developing such data, including contractor costs, image acquisition, classification process development, and field data collection. The project will begin this summer and be completed by summer 2005. The first phase will consist of acquiring 5-meter SPOT imagery which will be merged with 30-meter LandSat data. This will be used initially to create a 5-meter imperviousness layer for southern coastal towns of Maine. The merged data will then also be used as a basis for a 5-meter land cover product using a modified Maine Gap classification system. The budget for this project is currently at $320,000. The work will be performed by a vendor via the USGS Cartographic Services Contract. This allows us to capitalize on existing USGS and NOAA contributions to land cover mapping in Maine. We expect the contract to be in place by April 30.”
In sum he was asking the Board for a contribution of at least $50,000 towards the project, which would generate at least that much in federal match for the Geolibrary and perhaps more depending on what arrangements could be made. This must be done quickly as the deadline is April 30th.
John Holden asked if the federal match generated would be entirely new and the reply was it would be. Paul Mateosian asked if the 50k contribution would generate more than a 50K federal match. The answer was that it would certainly generate a 50K match but how much more was uncertain. There was some concern that state agency money, or part of it, may be from a federal source and consequently would not generate a federal match. Dan Walters now reported that the confirmed savings was $225,000. From this he suggested reserving $134,000 for infrastructure improvements, leaving $90,600.
There was further discussion of federal matching and how much federal match could be leveraged by how large an appropriation to the land cover project. Several Board members noted that the federal match issue was critical to any appropriation and wanted absolute confirmation. Tom Howker noted that there are no percentage restrictions on how the Board makes a matching contribution.
John Holden said the chair would entertain a motion to approve a contribution of $50,000 to the land cover project subject to a federal match. There were a few more questions. Jim Page asked if the imagery would be all new except for the Landsat and the answer was yes – no change detection was planned. Will Mitchell asked if the imagery was proprietary or licensed and the answer was that it was not. Barbara Charry noted that the land cover data could be upgraded or have value added by breaking out more classifications.
Ray Halperin moved that the Board contribute to the land cover project up to but not to exceed $50,000 contingent upon there being at least $50,000 in federal match. Marylin Lutz seconded the motion. There were additional questions about the lack of competitive bid on the project, the funding mechanisms and the federal match. Dan Walters agreed to call the Attorney General’s office and re-engage Dick Thompson in the conference for his observations. Will Mitchell moved to table the vote on the current motion to later in the meeting this was seconded and approved unanimously.
3. Annual Report
Jim Page opened discussion with a general critique that it was difficult to separate the Geolibrary from The GIS Executive Council. Other Board members suggested in general terms that it was difficult to tell where the Geolibrary stopped and BIS/MEGIS began. The countervailing point of view was that the coincidence of the Geolibrary and the GIS Executive Council was unlikely to be clarified any time soon. There were two specific suggestions. One was to remove “Appendix A” which had many details pertaining to state agencies. The second was to reword the report to stress the need for additional ongoing funding.
It was noted that much of the reason for this was a funding problem, that bond money cannot be used for administration. The Board does have the authority to charge fees for copies of data; Tom Howker agreed to take this up with the CIO and the BIS Director. Barbara Charry asked if it were not true that with bond money 3% could be used for administration. Ray Halperin answered that this was only true for the Treasury departments.
John Holden was asked what the deadline for the report was. He replied that it was due in January so it was already two months late in addition to which it rather must be submitted to the appropriate committees before the legislature adjourns, probably in April. John suggested that the Board members submit proposed changes to the annual report by e-mail to the staff. The deadline for input was agreed to be 5:00 PM Monday, Mar. 22nd. Staff would rework the report and send an updated version out to the members no later that the morning of Thursday the 25th. Board members would then vote by e-mail affirmative or negative on this draft of the report.
The Board returned to the motion previously made regarding the land cover project. The motion was read out again and John Holden called the roll for the vote. There were seven affirmative votes and one abstention. The motion carried.
The meeting adjourned at 12:16 PM.
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