It’s been a busy summer for the Property Data System staff, programming, testing and releasing several key enhancements. These enhancements are the direct results of member requests to improve the functionality of the system. A new interface to transfer Code Enforcement data from the Permits and Inspections System into Special Assessments of the Property Data System was released late in July. Now several other new enhancements requested by the members will soon be released. These new features include new search and sort options in the Find Permits module allowing the members to fine tune their data extracts to exactly what they need. Also soon to be released will be the Values Changed module. The Values Changed module will enable the ability to track (audit) changes to several key data items; removing the questions of: who, what, when and why data was changed. Several major module additions are currently in development, so look for them in the near future.
The City of Saint Paul announced the launch of their new eProperty web site hosted by LOGIS. Our staff and the Saint Paul Real Estate staff worked together to create the new site which has an updated look. The goal was to develop a site which would give citizens and Title Companies easy access to real time assessment information with an easy to navigate web interface.
In one of LOGIS GIS Service’s first efforts to directly foster collaboration among LOGIS GIS and all LOGIS business applications, the GIS group released AssessingBasemap in mid 2009. This month AssessingBasemap is moving through its first transition of “Display Year” and “Current Year” data for our Property Data System (PDS) users. This group of users will be meeting later this month to discuss the successes and possible additional requirements of AssessingBasemap.
AssessingBasemap is a web mapping application that offers common map and query functionality to assessors and appraisers to evaluate property information from the LOGIS Property Data System. It is secured to each individual city’s assessing staff. The interface is enabled to display a configurable list of attributes for both “display year” data and “current year” valuation data. The application’s data is unique by city but the interface and functionality is similar across all six PDS cities.
AssessingBasemap is a standard “out-of-the-box” web application using ESRI’s ArcGISServer template. This template provides standard mapping capabilities such as map navigation, printing, searching, and feature attribute display. This common functionality is provided to the end-user without having to write source code. The application is intended to be simple in both form and function without incurring significant development expense and the user can navigate and consume the basics of the application through a common “hands-on” experience without the need for training. And, since AssessingBasemap is a web application, no need for installation, update down-time, or OS compatibility concerns.
AssessingBasemap is supported by the LOGIS GIS team with additional database assistance from the PDS support group and is available to any LOGIS Property Data System city. Please contact the LOGIS GIS team for additional information on AssessingBasemap and other GIS solutions.
The recent release of Windows 7 presented a whole new set of challenges for the Property Data, Special Assessments and Permits and Inspections Management support teams to overcome. Cities were eager to roll out both the 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Windows 7 but needed to wait until the LOGIS staff could produce a workable solution.
New install packages and install procedures needed to be developed, and they are intelligent enough to be used on all Windows OS versions ranging from Windows XP to Windows 7, both 32 bit and 64 bit versions. Rolled into the new packages are Crystal Reports updates that resolved several existing small reporting and data exporting issues.
The new install packages are available on all participating member’s servers effective June 11, 2010.
In March of 2010, the LOGIS assessing cities (Brooklyn Center, Eden Prairie, Edina, Maple Grove, Minnetonka, and St. Louis Park) successfully sent over 108,000 value notices to property owners.
Value notice mailings are a great example of the LOGIS consortium advantage. In this case, shared printing and production costs resulted in significant savings for all of the cities involved. With the help of a local direct mail service we were able to do the entire mailing at greatly reduced cost, including postage as low as 33 ½ cents per piece, based on bulk mailing rates. In the past we have found that the savings in postage alone pays for the cost of using the direct mail service.
This year one city was able to take advantage of the USPS Full Service Intelligent Mail Option (a new barcode system). Next year more cities will qualify for this service, resulting in even better savings.