Last Modified: Thursday, May 01, 2014 2:46 PM
Beauregard Parish residents will now have the luxury of being able to look up their property — and that of other parish residents — at any time of the day or night.
Parish Tax Assessor Brent Rutherford’s office launched the geographical information system, an interactive map that allows access to parcel details and other relevant information, on its website last year.
The GIS site is based on those used by the Department of Homeland Security, which assisted in designing of the site.
“They actually kind of got us in the right direction as far as what software to use,” said Rhonda Farris, deputy assessor and GIS specialist. “They actually provided the first aerial shot of the state for us.”
Users can look up a specific parcel, property, subdivision, street name or property owner within the parish using the system. The site can also be used to measure distances between one parcel and another within Beauregard and find flood zones. Farris said that while the system is helpful, it is not intended to be a legal reference.
“A lot of people when they pull up the property map, they think it’s comparable to a survey,” she said. “It’s not comparable to a survey.”
The site is updated weekly to reflect property transfers, assessments and assessed value. Rutherford said his office tried to be conscious of resident’s privacy concerns and that any information available on the site was already public record.
“That was a concern of ours, and we were conscious of that going in,” Rutherford said. “But we have checked with other assessors office, and they haven’t had any complaints yet.”
Shape files, which collect specific data and put them on a map, are available for purchase via the site. The site had previously offered a free, public version and a more extensive version at a cost of $50 per month.
Rutherford said that because his office had recouped its funds, it no longer charges for any part of the site.