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Home September 15, 2004 Agenda & Minutes


MEETING: Maine Library of Geographic Information Board
DATE: Wednesday, September 15, 2004
TIME: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Burton M. Cross Building, Conference Room 107

1. Approval of August 18, 2004 Board Minutes

2. Project Updates:

a. Grant Proposals – Larry Harwood

b. Tech Subcommittee on III – Will Mitchell

c. Land Use/Land Cover – Dan Walters and/or Barbara Charry

3. Board Seats:

a. Electing new Chairperson

b. Filling vacancy from the Maine Science & Technology Foundation

c. Filling vacancy representing Statewide Association of Regional Councils (replacing John Holden)

4. Budget Status

5. Discussion on requesting financial support from the Legislature / GIS Executive Committee

6. Update on GeoLibrary Work Plan and Funding

a. United effort with GIS Executive Council

b. Working with County Commissioners

7. Other Business/Updates

a. GeoLibrary as a repository for donated data layers (Barbara Charry e-mail of 9/9/04)

b. Development Tracking Project

c. Study Impact of Statewide System for Electronic Filing of Deeds

d. APA Review of Proposed Digital Parcel Standards

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, October 20, 2004 – Burton M. Cross Building – Conference Room 107


Maine GeoLibrary Board Meeting
Wednesday, September 15, 2004 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Burton M. Cross Building, Conference Room 107

John Holden, Chair representing Statewide Association of Regional Councils
Ed Suslovic, Co-Chair representing Real Estate & Development
Barbara Charry representing Environmental Interests
James Page representing GIS Vendors
Dennis Boston representing Utility Interests
Marilyn Lutz representing UMaine
Dick Thompson representing State Government
Jon Giles representing Municipal Government
Paul Mateosian representing Municipal Government
Ray Halperin representing State GIS Functions
Robert Faunce representing Statewide Association of Counties
Will Mitchell representing GIS Vendors
Robert Doiron representing Commissioner of Administrative & Financial Services
Sean Myers representing the Public
Staff to the Board
Dan Walters
Larry Harwood
Carmen Fournier
Stacy Benjamin, State Planning Office
David McKittrick, Delorme


With the absence of the Chairperson, a motion was made and seconded to elect Jim Page as interim Chair for this meeting. Jim opened the meeting asking those in attendance to introduce themselves.

Item #1: Approval of August 18, 2004 Board Minutes

Jim noted that the minutes had been mailed to Board members for review/comments. He asked if there were any changes to the minutes, at this time Jon Giles asked that the last paragraph on page 3, item 2) be amended to read “exist in state and municipal government.” A motion followed and was seconded to approve the minutes as amended. With a show of hands the Board unanimously voted to accept the minutes with amendment.

Item #2: Project Updates

a. Grant Proposals – Larry Harwood

Larry reported the grants were underway and the process was moving forward. The BIS Contracts Management team has been working on 15 contracts that have been signed and 8 contracts are still out waiting for information/signatures. Once contracts are received they will be forwarded to the Division of Purchases for review. Work on the long term contracts in expected to begin sometime this month. There are 11 town contracts that can be written now and five (5) other towns will have orthophotos in 2004/2005. However, there are an additional 5 towns that do not have orthophotos or are not scheduled to have them in the near future. Larry noted the need to sit down with the contract people and look at what options are available to work with or assist these additional towns lacking orthophotos.

Following Larry’s update, The Board had an extensive discussion and offered possible alternatives to bring about a resolution. Jon Giles asked which towns are those. Larry responded, Isleboro, Jackson, Rockport, Thorndike, and Unity.

Jim, at this time, asked if the So. Portland issue had been resolved. Larry responded, yes.

Larry noted he would be able to tell the Board more after talking with the contract people. Jim asked is it the sense of the Board to encourage Dan and Larry to look for low cost alternatives but the final product must meet the GeoLibrary’s specs/standards? The Board was in agreement.

It was agreed the Board needed to look at all the available alternatives, the legality involved, and the procedural boundaries in order to be able to write up contracts for these five towns. Jim noted the Board needs to avoid setting any precedent.

Larry will report his findings to the Board at the October meeting.

b. Tech Subcommittee on III – Will Mitchell

Will reported the subcommittee did meet and worked on the RFP for the GeoLibary portal resulting in good progress. The body of the RFP is ready but not final. They will finalize the technical and functional requirements in the next couple of weeks. The goal is to bring a final RFP before the Board at the October meeting. Will is anticipating circulation of the RFP to the Board members for reading prior to the October meeting. The subcommittee also anticipates using the pre-approved vendor list for procurement. Will recommended that all interested parties be notified about the pre-approved vendor list and that the process is open to enrollment through the Office of the Chief Information Office

A motion was made that Dan Walters send out a notice to the GeoLibrary stakeholders notifying them the Board is implementing and RFP for the GeoLibrary portal, what are the eligibility requirements, and how to register for the pre-approved vendor list. The motion was seconded and unanimously passed by the Board members.

Will noted the need to reach all those that should be reached. He also anticipated the Tech Subcommittee members would review and score the submitted proposals.

Will also brought to the Board the issue of possible additional budget needs and recommended that the budget line item of $25,000 for standards conformity validation tools/application be left there, where it may be needed in the future for the portal project. He asked that the money be considered a potential source to support this effort.

Jim asked if a formal motion on behalf of the subcommittee was needed at this time. The Board agreed to revisit this request when Item 4 Budget Status is discussed.

c. Land Use/Land Cover – Dan Walters

Dan reported that Mike Smith, GIS at the Dept. of Environmental Protection, provided him with a brief report. Everything is on schedule, folks are out in the field collecting data (DEP volunteered 7 staff members, IF&W volunteered 2 staff people for data collecting). Their goal is to wrap things up before snow flies and get the reports delivered to the contractor. Will Mitchell asked if there was a connection between this work and the federal Multi Resolution Land Cover (MLRC) project. Dan replied that Maine was in fact partnering with NOAA and USGS but the classifications for Maine were broader and the resolution finer.

d. Orthophotograph Program – Larry Harwood

Larry reported expected delivery dates with an early November delivery date for the first priority area, mid December for the second priority area, early January 2005 for the third priority area, February 2005 fourth priority area, March 2005 fifth priority area. Larry noted that these dates are estimates only.

Item #3: Board Seats

a. Electing new Chairperson

Jim Page recommended the Board elect a Chair and Vice Chair, the Chair being responsible for the Board meeting agendas. A question was raised about having someone from the Legislature. It was noted that Ed Suslovic who served in the Legislature actually represented the Real Estate & Development area.

After extensive discussions, the Board agreed to vote, by secret ballot, for a Chair and Vice Chair. At this time, Jim Page nominated Ray Halperin to serve as Vice Chair, noting that Ray would be able to serve until January of 2005. Robert Faunce nominated Jim Page to serve as Chair; Will Mitchell nominated Marilyn Lutz to serve as Chair. Marilyn thanked Will but did not accept the nomination for Chair, therefore Will asked if Marilyn would service as Vice Chair, with Marilyn’s acceptance, Will nominated Marilyn Lutz to serve as Vice Chair. At this time, Robert Faunce made a motion that nominations cease which was seconded and approved unanimously.

Jim Page asked the Board to vote by secret ballot and that seven (7) positive votes were required for election. At this time the Board members took a three minute break to cast their votes. After passing in their voting ballots to Larry Harwood and Carmen Fournier, Larry and Carmen reviewed and counted the votes. The Board returned to business and Larry reported the voting results to the Board. Marilyn Lutz received eight (8) votes for Vice Chair and Jim Page received (8) votes for Chair.
With voting closed, the Board congratulated Jim and Marilyn. Jim asked to meet with Marilyn and Dan to meet for a few minutes after the meeting.

b. Filling vacancy from the Maine Science & Technology Foundation

This vacancy is a Legislative requirement. Nothing to report at this time.

c. Filling vacancy representing Statewide Association of Regional Councils (replacing John Holden)

Stacy Benjamin from the State Planning Office (SPO) reported that inquiries had been sent out for interested parties with no responses yet. A suggestion was made to send out a mailing to the stakeholders, post on the website for interested parties to contact SPO. The vacancy needs to be appointed by the SPO. Another suggestion was using the video conferencing option and bringing in someone from the Northern part of Maine to the Board.

Item #4: Budget Status – Dan Walters

Dan distributed a handout of the budget status to review with the Board. He asked that the Board focus on the two yellow columns (Draft JFA, RFP, Encumbrance or expenditure & Matching funds/services confirmed). Dan reviewed each listed item with the Board noting that other federal grants have been received or will be coming in that are not itemized on the report. These include $30,000 for metadata, &15,000 for county focus groups, $34,000 for USGS maps, MeGIS/FEMA $190,000 for development of new Flood Insurance Rate Maps. Approximately adding $269,000 in matching monies.

Will noted that anticipated cost savings on the ortho production and Dan responded those savings were reflected on that one item. Barbara asked if the 2004 estimate could be more than shown on the spreadsheet. Dan noted that Year 2 would be much less because there is far less Tier A area in Year 2 than Year 1. Dennis asked about the monies that are left over, will it expire? Dan responded the Board has until 2007 to spend this money. Dan was asked about the monies being set aside for the county forums, this will be done. Dan also brought before the Board the issue of storage costs and finding a way to pay for this storage and staff required to do the work. He noted maintaining and storing the data does have a large cost.

Dan was asked if he had located matching funds for the county forums. Dan commented that MEMA was not interested in providing matching funds. Dan will use 80 hours of his time to cover matching requirements. However, this may take away from the money set aside for consulting services. The travel budget may be less and we may be able to reallocate some of this money for consulting services. The match will be met using Dan’s time to work with the consultant and attend meetings, etc. It was noted that the approved match of $6250 for the county forums grant was not in the budget sheet and Dan said he would correct that straight away.

Will Mitchell offered for the TS III to work on the infrastructure improvements budget item. Jim Page noted the need to review what the state regulations are and determine what the requirements for the GeoLibrary are now and will be in the future. Need to look at what the storage for orthos will be as they come in. The TSIII could take on this task.

Item #5: Discussion on requesting financial support from the Legislature / GIS Executive Committee – Chair

Will made a recommendation for the Board to request a budget item for money from the Governor’s office. Jim Page asked if the Board could get a place holder until the Board works out an argument for financial support. Will noted the need to attempt to open the lines of communication with the Governor’s Office, who do we contact at the Governor’s Office? Jim Page asked if it was the sense of the Board that they approach the proper staff at the Governor’s Office? The Board agreed. Other resources noted to start communication with were the Commissioner of the Department of Administrative & Financial Services, Rebecca M. Wyke, the Legislature, and the Governor’s Office. Jim Page will put together a letter to the Commissioner.

Jim brought up for discussion future meeting agendas. He recommended the need to review subcommittee requirements and structures, dedicating time to strategic issues, using some of the time for the Board to reach a consensus on 2 or 3 projects that have to be done in the next 3 or 6 months, what is the Board’s priorities, looking at regular action items going forward. Sean Myers brought up the need for the Board to look at strategic/programs that is envision in the future. Jim noted the need to report to the Legislature in January on what the Board has accomplished and what the Board is going to be doing in the future. What needs to be championed? Sean noted having strategies inline with the vision. Jim talked about doing some brainstorming, articulating, prioritizing, and possibly having a longer meeting in October or November. The Board agreed to a three-hour meeting on October 20th (9:30 – 12:30) to review strategic issues, prioritizing and articulating.

Tom Howker, BIS Deputy Director, shared with the Board the funding issue and the a meeting was going to be held in the near future with Commissioner Wyke to review internal GIS operations and to discuss with the Commissioner the permanent funding from BIS for GIS operations.

Item #6: Update of GeoLibrary Work Plan and Funding – Chair

a. United effort with GIS Executive Council

Jim Page and Marilyn Lutz will meet with Liz Hertz, Seth Barker and Dan Walters and report back to the Board.

b. Working with County Commissioner

Dan will use his time to match the funds and will be working on an RFP for consultant services. This project may take a couple of months to complete.

Item #7: Other Business/Updates

a. Barbara Charry reported on the GeoLibrary as a repository for donated data layers. How could towns benefit using the GeoLibrary. She discussed some various projects that are already out there being worked on that involve gathering data and how does it relate to the GeoLibrary. Can towns give data they gather from various projects they are working on and make available to the state? She asked for feedback from the Board noting this could be an opportunity with the upcoming GeoLibrary portal.

Sean Myers asked what is the Board support to be doing, facilitate the production and distribution of information, use state resources to store information for use by the public, using MeGIS for those functions is only one part of the acquisition. The Board needs to figure out how it can bring those other systems out there with data into the GeoLibrary portal. There is a lot of data out there that could be a part of the state GeoLibrary portal. Certain standards will be required, is the Board responsible for operations…making a huge repository of information?

Following an extensive discussion, Jim Page noted the need to discuss the policy issue on what the Board does accept and under what conditions. How do we pay for it considering the storage space needed and the limited time of MeGIS staff. This issue is a very important one, we need to bit the bullet, get a list and take them on. The Board does have policy issues that have to be responded to. Jim noted the need for input from Dan/Larry as it relates to the real costs involving hard drive space and management time. There are a lot of opportunities out there, people will begin to rely on the GeoLibrary and we need to stay focused on be successful vs. unsuccessful.

At this time, Dan Walters recommended bringing Jim Henderson, the State Archivist into the discussion at a future meeting. Will noted it does bare a lot of discussion regarding centralized vs. distributed data. There is a critical mass of data other there being gathered by towns and cities doing their own thing and setting up systems of their own. Jon Giles commented on the need for both centralized and distributed depositories. The Board agreed this would be a large undertaking and needs further discussion.

b. Development Tracking Project

A meeting is scheduled for October 6 and a draft report will be available from the Steering Committee for Board review.

c. Study impact of statewide system for electronic filing of deeds

No updates at this time.

d. APA Review of Proposed Digital Parcel Standards

Dan reported comments to the advertisement in the paper close October 8. Dan will send out a news alert to all stakeholders. All comments will be sent to the CIO for review and forwarded to the Secretary of State’s Office. A goal for adoption of the standards is planned by the week of November 22-26.

Before closing the meeting, Jim, Chair to the Board, asked members to think very hard about strategic and policy issues that need to be addressed and bring them to the October 20th meeting and prepare for extensive discussions.

It was noted the Ed Suslovic would be resigning from the Board.

The Board completing business at hand, a motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 12:30 p.m.