February 19, 2003
Board Members Attending
Ms. Susan Cromwell, Director of Fayetteville School District Information Technology
Mr. Randy Jones, First Electric Cooperative Corporation
Dr. Fred Limp, Director of the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies
Ms. Shirley Sandlin, Benton County Assessor
Mr. Jubal Smith, Entergy
Mr. Jim Wells, Wellsco
Ms. Suzanne Wiley, U of A Cooperative Extension Service
Board Members Not Present
Mr. Bill Bush, Arkansas Geological Commission
Mr. Mike McGibbony, Deputy Director of DIS
Mr. Chris Boudreaux, Conway Corporation
Ms. Phyllis Smith, U of A at Little Rock
Mr. Earl Smith, Ark Soil & Water Conservation Commission
LIB Advisory Panel
Arkansas Geographic Information
Mr. Shelby Johnson, State Geographic Information Coordinator
Mr. Learon Dalby, GIS Program Manager
Gary Underwood, Deputy Executive Chief Information Officer
The meeting was called to order. Suzanne Wiley motved to approve as amended the minutes of the last meeting of January 29, 2003. Shirley Sandlin seconded the motion. The minutes were approved as amended and accepted unanimously.
Report from the Arkansas Geographic Information Office
The standard AGIO report was not given due to the time required to discuss pressing legislative issues. Mr. Johnson began by providing an overview of the AGIO’s current budget dilemma.
Mr. Johnson explained that seven GIS positions were created during the 83rd General Assembly by passing ACT 1499. The appropriation for those seven positions was requested in the DIS appropriation. Concurrently, two GIS positions were created in the Act creating the Office of Information Technology appropriation. Both appropriations were approved by the Arkansas 83rd General Assembly. The positions in the DIS appropriation remained unfilled.
Mr. Johnson went on to explain that an appropriation gives the entity the authority to spend the money, funding gives the entity the money to spend, and approved budget is what is planned to be spent during a biennium. On January 10th, the 84th General Assembly Legislative Council Joint Budget Committee, Constitutional Officers Subcommittee adopted a motion that budget for any general revenue, State Central Services or Constitutional Officers appropriation be recommended for each year of the 2003-2005 biennium at the approved budget level for the current (2002-2003) year and that any request exceeding that amount be reconsidered and set at the 2002-2003 fiscal year approved level. The inadvertent result is that the AGIO would not have an appropriation for positions in any budget, because DIS only appropriated for operational cost, assuming the position appropriations would be moved to the Office of Information Technology as planned.
The current AGIO operating appropriation is under the Department of Information Systems and the positions were moved to the Office of Information Technology prior to the beginning of the fiscal year. There are no positions listed with the appropriation listed with the Department of Information Systems.
The appropriation listed for GIS in Act 1499 (83rd General Assembly) is $1,307,980 but was not fully budgeted at the beginning of the 2003 fiscal year. It was instead budgeted for $459,243 in the following categories:
Regular Salaries - $0
Extra Help - $10,280
Personal Serv Match - $813
Operating Expenses - $98,150
Travel Conferences - $45,000
Prof. Fees & Serv. - $125,000
Data Processing - $180,000
The intention was to unblock any deferred appropriation as it was needed. That was the case as funding was received from the Department of Information Systems. Under the current adopted motion the AGIO budget will be $459,243 as listed above with no salaries budgeted.
The Department of Finance and Administration is currently compiling a list of issues similar to the AGIO’s that are the inadvertent result of the 84th General Assembly adopted motion. The Department of Finance and Administration will request the 84th General Assembly Joint Budget Committee administratively review these inadvertent issues. Ultimately the AGIO will request that the salaries and operational cost appropriations are placed in one agency and funds are allocated to the Arkansas Geographic Information Systems Fund.
The AGIO is currently working with the Department of Finance and Administration to craft a letter detailing our current situation. The letter will then be sent from Carolyn to the Governor and from the Governor to the Department of Finance and Administration. The AGIO is also working with Nancy Turner, the Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Information Systems, and with our Department of Finance and Administration budget analyst to gain a better understanding of possible solutions. Currently the future of the AGIO is very uncertain.
The AGIO suggested that the ASLIB may wish to follow up with members of the 84th General Assembly Joint Budget Committee to educate them on the AGIO situation. Members of the ASLIB agreed that several phone calls should be made and requested a summary of the situation when it is made clearer to the AGIO.
Appropriation Bills for Data Development
Mr. Dalby proposed the ASLIB consider seeking general improvement funds from the 84th General Assembly to support the Arkansas Centerline File Program. The general improvement funds would be used to assist counties in creating centerlines, and the distribution of centerlines in the Arkansas Centerline File Standard format.
Mr. Dalby went on to propose the ASLIB consider seeking general improvement funds from the 84th General Assembly to support a second aerial photography project. The project would be part of the Arkansas Digital Ortho Program and would be designed in a similar fashion (cooperative partnerships with the AGIO managing the project). This proposal was made as a result of a survey of past ADOP cooperators. Survey results indicated that cooperators would like to update the digital orthophotography in 2004 and would be willing to contribute money to the program. The general improvement funds would serve as state “seed” money as well as provide money for the distribution of the orthos once they were created.
Mr. Dalby went on to say that each of the general improvement requests would be beneficial to the state and that regardless of the level of funding, the appropriation would be needed in order to spend any potential money collected for either program.
Dr. Limp stated that a number of additional stakeholders may participate this time and the technological advances may lead us to acquire the orthos in a slightly different manner.
The AGIO suggested that the ASLIB not enter into a cooperative partnership with the USGS this time.
Shirley Sandlin moved to request the AGIO to prepare two proposed bills that request general improvement funds from the 84th General Assembly for the Arkansas Centerline File Program and the Arkansas Digital Otho Program. Suzanne Wiley seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Update on GeoStor Operational Options
Mr. Dalby provided the ASLIB with an overview of possible options for an operational GeoStor. The options were as follows (in no particular order):
Move GeoStor to DIS
Move GeoStor to a private entity
Move GeoStor to an academia entity
Convert to operational GeoStor at CAST
Do nothing and “lose” GeoStor at the end of the state fiscal year
After much discussion, Ms. Sandlin moved for the state to purchase licenses and convert GeoStor to an operational mode at CAST with support from the AGIO and direction from the ASLIB. Mr. Jones seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Dr. Limp abstained from the vote.
Mr. Dalby went on to explain that software license fees must be paid at the beginning of the state fiscal year (July 1, 2003) regardless of which “operational” option was chosen. He went on to say that the state should probably be the one to purchase the licenses.
Mr. Jones then made a motion for the AGIO to investigate seeking general improvement funds from the 84th General Assembly to support GeoStor in an operational mode. Ms. Sandlin seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
AGIO Funding Strategies
Mr. Johnson briefed the ASLIB on the possibility of
seeking a stable AGIO revenue source by placing a fee
on all taxable ad valorem parcels each year. Mr. Johnson
went on to explain that monies collected from the fee
could be distributed on a percentage basis to the counties
for information technology investments and to the Arkansas
Geographic Information Systems Fund to support county
Dr. Limp proposed a motion for the AGIO to move forward on drafting a proposed bill, identifying potential sponsors, and seeking the advice of the administration. Suzanne seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Smith requested a one page paper outlining talking points that reflect what the proposed bills’ benefits would be to the counties and the AGIO.
Future Meeting Dates/Adjourn
No future meeting dates were set.
COMMITTEES (* Indicates chair):
Strategic Planning – Susan*, Fred, Bill, Suzanne, Earl Smith
Electronic Plat Filing/Parcel Mapping – Randy*, Susan, Jim, Chris, Shirley
AR Spatial Data Infrastructure Policies – Fred*, Jim, Susan, Suzanne
Funding and Economic Development– Jubal*, Mike McGibbony*, Phyllis, Suzanne, Bill
Communication/Public Relations – Shirley*, Jubal, Phyllis, Chris