EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

November 10, 2013

$20K upgrade coming to GIS system

METHUEN — The City Council has approved a $20,000 transfer of surplus water and sewer money to pay for an updated Geographic Information System (GIS) for data and mapping.

The money was initially approved eight years ago for pump station projects. A total of $20,000 was left over after the projects were completed, according to Methuen Public Works Director Raymond DiFiore.

The City Council on Thursday reauthorized the money for the GIS system at the request of DiFiore.

The city’s current GIS system hasn’t been updated since August 2003. The system provides a wide range of data and mapping across the city, including information on wetlands, water and sewer infrastructure and property assessments.

“We wanted to bring up the GIS system to where it should be, because everybody uses it,” said DiFiore. “The treasurer/tax collector, community development, engineering, conservation — effectively all the departments use it.”

DiFiore said the $20,000 will pay for the purchase and installation of new software. A decade worth of new data will be included in the update, which will be completed by the Cambridge firm CDM Smith, DiFiore said.

DiFiore said some city employees regularly use the GIS system during field work.

“They’re able to hook right into the system from the site,” DiFiore said.

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