Township board opts for a higher resolution aerial imagery

By David Fleet
Atlas Twp.-On June 21 the township board of trustees voted 4-1 to approve a higher resolution for the aerial imagery photos of the township.
Trustee Barry June voted no.
The township participates in the Genesee County Geographic Information System. Countywide data is gathered via a fly-over using aerial imagery with the next update of photos set for the spring of 2022. The board of trustees was provide information for a higher resolution aerial imagery with a change in cost from $724 to $2,590 per year for a six year period. The process is necessary, say officials for topographical mapping, interpretation of places, objects, and features in the landscape.
“We’ve had (in the past) low resolution imagery,” said Shirley Katman-Jones, township supervisor. “In speaking with Bill Thompson the assessor and people in the office that work with the pictometry the idea is to have the higher resolution, where they can actually see structures on parcels.”
Kautman-Jones said through the higher resolution aerial imagery it may become visible that township residents may have built a garage, barn, deck or pool without notifying the township.
“It does help,” she said. “The layers (are important) that offer information (from the aerial images) or guidance on flood planes where gas lines or underground utilities are located. The assessors office says we need the higher resolution, and they work all day with it. Assessing is where the money is made.”
From where the township is now it will be a 94 percent improvement, she added.
June opposed the upgrade.
“There’s no need to spend the extra money for the added detail,” said June. “Even with the extra resolution a physical inspection is still required. I can get on Google Earth and determine if it’s a shed or a deck.”

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