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Commission meets, discusses aerial photography

By Justin Boron

Aerial photography over Clayton County could lead to better tax assessment, public safety, and planning, county officials say.

The Clayton County Board of Commissioners discussed Tuesday at its work session the implementation of overhead, photographic maps that the county would use to find unassessed property and better response routes for police and fire.

The actual photography would cost $152,000 and could be paid over two years, said Clark Stevens, the county chief of staff.

The images would be gathered by a plane flying overhead the county using a five lens camera and could start in the next few months, he said.

It is critical, Stevens said, that the photography be done while the leaves are gone from the trees so they do not obfuscate the camera's view, Stevens said.

County Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell said the photography would bring the county technologically in line with other counties.

County Commissioner Wole Ralph said he was trained on the technology and thought the software was necessary.

But he also said it would be expensive to implement.

He recommended that the county ascertain a realistic estimate of the cost of implementing the aerial photography software.

The commission also discussed the following items Tuesday as well.

é Lee Scott, a community activist, reiterated the need for the county commission to move forward with the recreation centers promised in the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax program.

He asked them to issue bonds or borrow the money to fund the centers up front and recoup the cost when the money is collected from the one penny sales tax.

é The county commission considered approving a study by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia to determine whether the county government can consolidate some of its departments and services.

The efficiency study will cost $35,000 and include interviews with department heads.

It should be complete in the next two months.

é The county commission considered the sale of the old Riverdale Library, which currently houses the Alzheimer's Support Services.

But it elected to put the item off until the Alzheimer group was able to relocate.

é Dan Martin, director of finance, was honored for 30 years of service.