JENNINGS — The Jeff Davis Parish Police Jury agreed Wednesday to join a consortium of local government agencies and municipalities in pulling their resources to create and fund a geographic information system (GIS) mapping project for the parish.
The new interactive online mapping system will replace paper-based data to digitally preserve vital information about the parish including population, transportation and highway systems, voting precincts, taxing districts, zoning and land use, parks and more. Locations of utilities, pipelines, flood zones and elevation can also be mapped.
The system can also be used by law enforcement to conduct raids, investigations and assist in evacuations by providing aerial images and property information.
Under an agreement approved by the Police Jury, Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff’s Office, Economic Development Office, Jennings, Welsh, Lake Arthur and Jeff Davis Electric Co-op will split the startup cost of $67,010 with each paying $8,377 in initial startup fees. Each entity is expected to pay $1,312.15 for the next two to three years.
Action by the Jeff Davis Parish School Board is pending, according to Economic Development Executive Director Marion “Butch” Fox.
“From what they are telling us this is suppose to bring us in some more revenue,” Police Jury President Donald Woods said.
The program will allow the Assessor’s Office to provide for a more accurate property assessment values, including those areas where towns are divided between Jeff Davis, Calcasieu and Allen parishes, Woods said.
The parish’s assessor’s office will provide the staff and computer for the program.
In presenting the GIS mapping system to the Police Jury in April, Kathryn Fenstermaker of C.H. Fenstermaker and Associates said the uses of the system are “wide and vary” and will benefit everyone in the parish.
Similar programs are available in Beauregard, Calcasieu and Acadia parishes.