Wisconsin Geospatial News


The Wisconsin Land Information Board (WLIB) last met on November 15 in Madison. The Board’s next meeting will be held in Madison in early February 2005 on a date to be determined.

Board approves planning instruction updates
At its November 15, 2004 meeting, the WLIB approved revisions to the “Uniform Instructions for Preparing County Land Information Plans.” The instructions, which were last revised in 1997, provide a comprehensive guide to counties for updating and maintaining their plan.

The land information plan is intended to cover a five-year horizon, and provide the county with a “roadmap” for how it will tackle land records modernization and GIS implementation in general. This covers not only investments in the creation and maintenance of specific data themes, but also the specification of policies on issues such as overall goals and objectives, data sharing, adoption of standards, and partnerships. The plan also guides the county by identifying those activities in which it will invest its financial resources. Having an up-to-date approved plan is a requirement for receiving Wisconsin Land Information Program grants from the Land Information Board.

Mike Romportl, WLIB member, lead a small team of representatives from the Wisconsin Land Information Association (WLIA), and the Land Information Officers Network in identifying revisions to the planning instructions. At the November 15 meeting, the WLIB set May 1, 2005 as the deadline for counties to submit their revised plan. With few staff remaining at the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) to review the revised plans, the WLIB is investigating the possibility of the WLIA coordinating the review, and then presenting recommendations to the WLIB.

Board approves grant funding for 2005
Funding for the 2005 local grant cycle was also approved by the WLIB at its November 15 meeting. The Board made specific awards in two categories: $21,600 for Training and Education grants ($300 to each of the state’s 72 counties), and $235,956 for Base Budget awards to 18 counties. A Base Budget award is based on the difference in annual revenue a county retains from its portion of the real estate recording fees and $35,000.

Additionally, the Board took two other specific actions on grants. The first decision was to allocate up to $35,000 towards the cost of redesigning the Wisconsin County Coordinate System (WCCS). At the meeting several visitors appraised the Board of the need to redesign the WCCS in order to make data conversions between the WCCS and other coordinate systems more uniform for software vendors. The WCCS redesign proposal has grown out of a WLIA task force looking at a variety of coordinate system issues.

The Board’s second decision concerns the allocation of any remaining revenues from the current and past fiscal year to the Strategic Initiative (SI) Grant category. Rene Powers, the Board’s acting Executive Director at DOA, reported that approximately $500,000 should be available in 2005 for SI grants. The Board in its action directed that the SI Grant monies be spent on parcel mapping, and that funds be directed to those 32 counties that retain less than $50,000 annually. The distribution of the SI funds should occur in May, 2005.