At an all-day drill for police and fire first responders in Herkimer County, State Senator James L. Seward announced a $9,000 state senate grant to fund completion of the county's GIS (geographic information system) project.
The award pays the final costs of the $29,000 project, originally funded with a 2004 federal bioterrorism preparedness grant.
"The senate funding helps complete an important, potentially lifesaving project without further burdening local property taxes," Seward said. "The county's GIS project has wide application for emergency preparedness, search and rescue operations for lost hikers and hunters, soil and water investigations and projects, and important public health purposes. I am glad that the senate funding could provide the final funding piece of this important work."
The $9,000 grant will purchase a handheld Leica GIS collection unit, software to integrate data collected into the county GIS database, antenna and technical support. It will allow the county to map epidemics or hazardous materials incidents, as well as assist the emergency services of the county in rescue and emergency work. It was initiated by Public Health Director Dr. Gregory O'Keefe.
The senate funding was set aside in the 2005-2006 state budget. It will be administered by the state department of health.