Web-based system to help improve town
The project will be overseen by the firm Wendel, in which they design, develop and integrate custom databases, forms, management tools and map viewers for desktop, mobile and web-based platforms creating a comprehensive GIS. Wendel then hosts the data from their server.
“It was a project that started years ago with the Town of Lancaster so we are reusing a lot of the information that has already been gathered and developed and building it into a web-based mapping tool, which will allow everybody in the town hall, town staff, and highway department to access the information,” said Wendel Consultant, Orest P. Ciolko, PE.
The web-based site will allow, for example, the town to locate culverts, ditches, land uses, street signs, water valves, the town/village boundary line, federal and state wetlands, bridges, streams, sewer lines, as well as locate the perimeters of a property owner’s land, and the mapping will show the current floodplains being used and the new ones that are being introduced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“We will have all the information at our fingertips,” commented Town of Lancaster Highway Superintendent Daniel Amatura.
“It is a long time coming,” added Town of Lancaster Supervisor Robert H. Giza.
The system is also equipped with a drop down menu, which will allow the town highway department to keep a maintenance log, which will specify when ditches were last cleaned or when piping was replaced, what kind of repairs were done on a pipe, and what kind of piping was used.
“It will save us a lot of time,” said Amatura.
Amatura added that the only records available are the ones Town of Lancaster Deputy Highway Superintendent Louie Cacciotti kept on his own, which has been a great help to the town, but a system needs to be put in place.
In addition, the system will assist the department in replacing the highway and street signs in the town that fail to meet minimum retroreflectivity requirements, a regulation implemented by the Federal Highway Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation as part of the revised Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
Town of Lancaster Assessor David Marrano commented that about two years ago the Town of Hamburg had a
program developed and it is outstanding tool.
“It will help us tremendously from a [property] valuation standpoint,’ added Marrano.
It will allow for property to be valued appropriately as some properties may have wetlands or floodplains in the middle of it.
“So, it is giving us the opportunity to improve our valuation skills,” said Marrano.
With the same grant, Amatura also asked the team at Wendel to look at a couple of drainage issues that have been ongoing in the town. These sites included an area at Walden Pond Park and a section of Brunck Road. The problems on Brunck Road stem from three large beaver dams.
It was recommended by Scott M. Rybarczky, PE, LEED, AP of Wendel, to trap the beavers and remove the dams because the dams create a large increase of water elevation and restricts flow.
Town of Lancaster Engineer Robert Harris said that the town has the permits needed to trap beavers on town property, but because it isn’t town property, they are currently in the process of obtaining additional permits for these three sites, which they have to get the help of the homeowners.
Amatura expects to have the system fully functional in the mid-summer.