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Village of Somerset to invest $28,300 in new utility management software system

At their meeting Tuesday night, Aug. 15, Somerset Village trustees unanimously approved a proposal from GIS Services worth $28,300 to provide software and build a database to enable public works to remotely monitor and manage stormwater and water treatment utilities.

GIS Technician Jeff Powell walked trustees through an overview of the proposed system.

"The first part of the proposal addresses data collection. That's the GPS effort of collecting the sanitary and stormwater features and time for building out that database. All of that data feeds into an online system. That's part two of the proposal. That allows you to view all of your data online through an account. Primarily Public Works will be able to access the data and use it for inspections. The final piece is the mobile apps. That's a custom for you to view the GIS data you collected for any system. This is a living breathing database management tool you can access on your computer or in the field. Depending on your future needs you will be able to update any of the features as well. Part of the package outside of your utilities includes us pulling all the county data," explained Powell.

In addition to the initial proposal covering the one-time fee to develop the database and software, the system will require the village to pay an ongoing licensing fee directly to the software mapping company to access the data. Although that fee was not specified Tuesday night, it is estimated to cost in the neighborhood of $2,500, depending on the number of seats or users.

Public Works Director Bob Gunther saw numerous advantages in having all of the data accessible at his department's fingertips including the ability to constantly update the system with new information.

"Essentially all of our hydrants, valves, manholes, storm sewer, all of the impertinences that go with both utilities, water flow, size of the mains, materials, sewer jetting video inspections, will all be incorporated into the database. It's very much a preventative measure, a way for us to be proactive getting at problems before they begin," said Gunther.

Other business

• Trustees accepted $6,000 from the Highway 64 coalition to conduct a study of the use of chemicals and energy at the wastewater treatment plant. The funds are payable to the DNR.

• Trustees were informed that the Village did not receive the Community Development Block Grant they applied for to help pay for the new well #5. Total cost for the development of a new test well is estimated at $70,908 which includes $16,000 spent on the first site unsuccessfully.