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Ogdensburg seeking records-keeping grant

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The city of Ogdensburg is hoping that a state grant and the Development Authority of the North Country will help it do away with documenting its sewer and water infrastructure with bulky, yellowing paperwork.

On Monday, the city council voted 7-0 in favor of applying for up to $150,000 from the state Archives Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund to set up a Geographic Information System - GIS - to record municipal sewer and water infrastructure documents.

Minus the paperwork.

A Geographic Information System uses hardware, software, and data for compiling all forms of geographically-specialized information, replacing hard copy such as oversized maps and other bulky documents.

“It’s to get it in a digital format and then it’s in there forever,” said DANC Director of Engineering Carrie M. Tuttle. “It’s for records conversion.”

DANC’s staff in Watertown will supervise the GIS work. The grant has a shared service stipulation that other communities - documenting their sewer and water infrastructure data - join the city which would be the lead applicant.

The other communities have yet to be confirmed. Ms. Tuttle said DANC has overseen successful shared service GIS programs with 33 north country municipalities.

The grant awards have never reached the $150,000, instead ranging from $20,000 to $67,000. Mayor William D. Nelson recalled years ago the city shopping for a GIS and getting sticker-shocked by six-digit price tags.

The DANC proposal, the mayor said, is state of the art and cheaper.

“It’s very cost-effective,” Mr. Nelson said. “And the bottom line is we’re saving the taxpayer money.”

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