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Village looks at improving its Web site

November 06, 2008
Fontana — The village of Fontana is looking at making accessing public records a little easier.

During its Monday night Village Board meeting, Thomas Timm, of the village's engineering firm Ruekert-Mielke, gave a presentation on a Geographic Information System.

A GIS would allow the village to post detailed maps of Fontana on its Web site, and can make certain portions of these maps available to the public.

What it could include

The detailed maps could include specific information about individual parcels, including tax assessments, tax bills, zoning information and a picture.

There also could be maps detailing stormwater management including where manholes are located and how frequently they are maintained.

It also can show the locations of trees, street signs and light poles. In the village of Hartland, its GIS list where police incidents occur.

The GIS also can go one step further and lists what the street signs say and what type of trees are planted where.

The village of Fontana could choose to include some or none of these features if it goes with the GIS.

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A GIS would also make it easier for the village to maintain zoning records.

Village staff would be able to edit certain features of the map. If a zoning change is approved, the staff can immediately update the information on the Web site.

The village can then print new accurate zoning maps.

At Village Hall, the hope is that this program would save time and money. For residents, it will provide easy access to public records.

Village Administrator Kelly Hayden said its difficult to keep zoning maps current, and that this program would make it easier for village staff.

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"This is one area that really drew us to it," she said.

During the presentation, Trustees questioned the need to post all of this information on the Internet.

"You decide as a village what information you want to give out," Timm said.

Timm said some communities choose not to make pictures of homes available to the public. The village of Hartland doesn't allow the public to search for property tax information by the property owner's name.

The initial cost to launch the project is $39,000. Maintaining and updating the information could cost several $1,000 a year.

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However, most communities past that cost onto the individuals or companies developing new properties or requesting zoning changes.

Trustee Bill Turner asked if the village could attach relevant documents to parcels or subdivisions.

"This would allow neighbors to see what easements or restrictions are on their neighbors property," Turner said.

The information was presented for information only, and the village didn't take a formal action on whether to move forward with adding GIS to its Web site.

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