The Clinton County GIS Department was created in May 1996, after nearly one and a half years of planning and development. The idea of creating a county-wide Geographic Information System was proposed in early 1995 and with the help and guidance of the SEDA-COG GIS task force, and specifically Tom Sweet, plans were developed to purchase aerial photography of the county. These flights were completed by Aerial Data Reduction Associates Inc. in May 1995, and spanned several of the SEDA-COG counties. Delivery of Clinton County's planimetric data was completed in July 1996.
Another integral part of the GIS puzzle was the conversion to digital format of the county's tax assessment maps. This project was contracted to Aerial Data Reduction Associates Inc. The paper assessment maps were digitized and geofitted to the planimetric base provided by the aerial flight compilation. Delivery of the completed assessment coverage took place in January 1997.
To make use of all the GIS data that was being compiled by the various vendors involved in the project, the county needed to modernize its computer systems and build a network to link the different offices that would use the capabilities of the GIS. This task was given to the county's MIS department and it's director, Suzy Smith. In June 1995, Clinton County hired ISS Inc. to design and install a 100 mbs fiber optic Novell network to serve GIS information to the Planning, Assessment, Emergency Management, and E-911 offices and the Conservation District.
Jim Watson, GIS Director
Dan Ake, GIS Technician
While Clinton County's GIS Department has a professional staff of two, it would be inappropriate to place full credit (or blame ....) on these people. A quality GIS requires teamwork, and a great deal of teamwork by all departments in County Government has made GIS a reality in Clinton County.
By May 1996, hardware, software, networking capabilities and personnel were in place to make GIS a reality in Clinton County. While Clinton County's venture into GIS is relatively new, a strong political commitment, will help ensure the continued development and implementation. GIS is a tool being used to assist all municipalities within Clinton County to plan for future growth and to manage our abundant resources, both natural and human.