YORK – York County has been photographed, from the sky, as it has been for many years for assessment purposes – but this time, it was done in a new way that will provide high-tech imagery.
Every so many years, counties pay for aerial photography, in order to keep up with new structures and changes to keep valuation up to date. York County, years ago, established a reappraisal sinking fund, in order to pay for this periodic service as well as to pay commercial appraisers. This fund grows with annual deposits so the money is available when the time comes.
This year, York County Assessor Kurt Bulgrin asked to go with a company called Eagle View which took to the sky as usual, but they will also provide imagery so detailed that structures will be able to be measured from his office in the courthouse.
Currently, the assessor staff goes out in person and physically measures new structures when they find out about their existence. That will still happen, but this new imagery will streamline that process as well as make them immediately aware of changes (valuation additions) as they occur.
There will also be an added bonus in that the imagery will be shared with the emergency communications center and sheriff’s department to enhance their emergency responses.
The imagery will not be made available to the public, in order to protect individual privacy, which was a big concern for the commissioners when it was first discussed. That privacy measure will be maintained, as the imagery will only live with the three county offices for their use only.
The contract was included in this fiscal year’s budget.
The total cost, each year, over the course of six years, will be $25,312.12. Again, the money will be taken from the county’s reappraisal sinking fund.
The company will do two flyovers of the county. Bulgrin told the county commissioners this week that the fly-over has been completed for the first round. It will be done again in three years. “Change-finder” technology will also help point out things that have changed over that time period.
“This information will not be available to the public, just the York County Sheriff’s Department and dispatch will get this as it will be of great value to them,” Bulgrin reiterated. "Hopefully next month will be able to see it and will have education as to how to use it."
The reason aerial companies wait to do the imagery work in the fall/early winter, after the harvest and after the leaves have fallen, is so there is a clearer view with no obstructions.