County aerial survey to begin

By Hank Lohmeyer


A contractor for the county will be conducting an aerial photographic survey here before trees begin leafing out.

The Board of County Commissioners has approved a proposal to conduct the aerial survey, called an oblique/orthogonal aerial imaging.

The imaging will include municipalities.

The commissioners reviewed three bids before awarding the contract to the low bidder, Pictometry International Corporation, a firm headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., that has offices in Denver. The low bid was $184,451.

County administrator Robbie LeValley said the low bid by Pictometry was the only one meeting all of the criteria for the work. She said the same company has worked with Mesa and Montrose counties on aerial surveys "so all of the lines will match up."

The bid came in within budget for the project, LeValley said.

LeValley explained to the DCI that results from the survey will be made available to the public via the county's GIS website sometime later in the year. That will take place hopefully in the fall, she said, after new GIS personnel come on board.

Images and data from the aerial survey are used for various purposes, including detecting private construction activity that has occurred without the knowledge of property tax assessors.

Sometimes buildings are constructed or placed in locations behind locked gates or in remote areas where assessor's office staff can't get access to evaluate them for tax purposes, the DCI was told.

The assessor's office notes there is "a lot of misunderstanding" about the laws and rules for property taxation. The office advises that anyone with questions call for information.