Officials looking to invest in geographic information mapping system

<div class="Content"><p class="indent">JENNINGS — Municipalities and economic development officials in Jeff Davis Parish are working together to implement a new geographic information system that can digitally preserve vital data about the parish.</p><p class="indent">The GIS system will allow multiple layers of useful information and data for local properties to be displayed on a digital map from any computer. The system will also allow users to see street views and find information on transportation, highways, voting precincts, council districts, zoning and land use, parks and more. Locations of utilities, pipelines, flood zones and elevation can also be found.</p><p class="indent">“Jeff Davis Parish is a very paper-based parish; you don’t have a large digital file,” consultant Kathryn Fenstermaker of C.H. Fenstermaker and Associates of Lafayette told police jurors Wednesday.</p><p class="indent">The system could also be used by law enforcement to conduct raids or investigations by providing aerial imagery and property information.</p><p class="indent">“The uses are wide and vary for GIS,” Fenstermaker said. “I think everyone in the parish will benefit from it and find a use for it.”</p><p class="indent">The GIS system will enable the parish to convert the paper information into a digital file and aerial images, she said.</p><p class="indent">“This is good for economic development purposes, when people from outside the parish are trying to get a window in to the parish and what is available,” Fenstermaker said.</p><p class="indent">The images and data can easily be viewed and shared so that “all of the United States and the world can have a window into Jeff Davis Parish,” she said.</p><p class="indent">Police Juror Steve Eastman said the GIS mapping system has already been useful for investors and tax assessors assessing property values in other parishes.</p><p class="indent">Fenstermaker said one of the biggest benefits of the GIS is reducing foot traffic for some offices.</p><p class="indent">Since implementing GIS programs in Calcasieu Parish, many government offices have reduced their public foot traffic by 70 percent, which has increased efficiency of some offices, she said.</p><p class="indent">The cost for the proposed base map package for the parish is $25,000 with a $10,500 annual recurring fee for hosting and maintenance. Custom feature labor cost is $150 an hour with the cost of some premium feature options being waived.</p><p class="indent">The cost would be divided among the partners. Partners currently involved in the project include the Economic Development Office, Sheriff’s Office, Jennings, Welsh, Lake Arthur, School Board and Jeff Davis Co-op.</p></div><div class="Lead"> </div>

<strong>‘I think everyone in the parish will benefit from it (GIS) and find a use for it.’</strong>

<strong>Kathryn Fenstermaker</strong>

C.H. Fenstermaker and Associates

      57029c06-a6eb-11e8-8f10-5b31da9e14022018-08-23T18:00:00Zveterans memorial park,downtown seattle,westlake park,westlake square,memorial park,337-433-0691,rodney hennigan,steven m. clark,phillips 66,memorial site,westlake mayor’s armed forces committee,armed forces committee,fred reed,fort polk joint readiness training center,westlake,westlake city hall,bob hardey,mayor,lt. col.,southwest louisiananews/local,newsWestlake breaks ground on veterans memorial park and gardenTHREE YEARS IN THE MAKING<a href="mailto:news@americanpress.com"> Heather Regan White / The American Press </a>
      <p class="p1">WESTLAKE —  Ground was broken on the Westlake Veterans Memorial Park and Butterfly Garden Wednesday. The park will be located at 2901 Westwood Road, on 40 acres of land west of Pinederosa Park and the baseball complex. </p><p class="p1">The $3 million-plus project is the result of efforts by the city of Westlake, the Westlake Mayor’s Armed Forces Committee, Ward 4 Recreation District 1, and with $100,000 in funding from Phillips 66.</p><p class="p1">The memorial will feature a flag and statue for each of the five military branches, as well as a granite wall on which veterans’ names will be engraved. There will also be a 4,800 square-foot activities center with on-site parking, and a garden designed to attract Monarch butterflies.</p><p class="p1">The memorial project was three years in the making. “We came in wanting a $15,000 statue, said Mayor Bob Hardey. “We thought that was a lot because we only had $50 in the checkbook.”</p><p class="p1">Rodney Hennigan, with the Armed Forces Committee said, in light of the several groups that supported the project, “Anyone who says our country is in trouble, is badly mistaken.”</p><p class="p1">Lt. Col. Steven M. Clark, the Senior Sustainment Trainer at the Fort Polk Joint Readiness Training Center, said that in his 28 years of military service around the world, veterans have not always been treated well. “From a veteran to a community, I want to say thank you for what you’re doing for our community in Southwest Louisiana to honor the men and women who have sacrificed overseas and continue to sacrifice today as we do our nation’s bidding.” he said. “We do what’s called of us every single day, all around the world. Not for the money and not for the fame. But because of a duty we have, to not only our nation, but to our community and our friends.”</p><p class="p1">The event concluded with a blessing of the memorial site by Deacon Fred Reed, a Navy veteran, and a groundbreaking.</p><p class="p1">To purchase space on the granite wall for a veteran, call Westlake City Hall at 337-433-0691.</p>””<p class="p1">Deacon Fred Reed, a Navy veteran, blessed ground at the site of the future Westlake Veteran’s Memorial and Butterfly Garden at Pinederosa Park on Wednesday.</p>Heather Regan White / American Press