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911 system to utilize aerial maps

by Gail Marsh

STAFF WRITER

The Harrison County 911 system soon may have the additional resource of aerial mapping to help quickly locate each business and residence throughout the county.

During its regular meeting on Thursday, the Harrison County Commission agreed to spend $36,000 to contract MSES Consultants to develop the aerial maps. The money will come from the county's 911 fees.

Fred Smart, director of Harrison's 911 system, said the maps will be helpful because of the rural nature of the area.

"At the present time, about 90 percent of the houses in the county do not have street names and house numbers, but instead have the rural routes.

The aerial mapping is the first step in developing a countywide plan to give every residence a city-style address and house number," Smart said.

Once the base maps are designed from the aerial photographs, the county can consider the development of the addressing system. That phase of the plan could cost up to $350,000, Smart said.

Larry Rine of MSES Consultants, who presented the mapping plan to the commission, said the system will be useful for a number of city and county agencies.

Terry Schulte, head of the county planning commission, said her office could benefit from the more sophisticated mapping system.

"We're always looking at the development of programs in rural areas, such as farmland preservation or improved fire service protection. The maps could be a tool to help develop programs to improve the quality of life and safety for our residents," she said.

In order to include all the municipalities and county agencies in planning the next phase of the mapping process, the County Commission has called a special public meeting for 6 p.m. on Tuesday in the Commission court room.

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