Fly-over project would provide high-tech capabilities of seeing, measuring properties

YORK – Every so many years, the county does a “fly-over,” meaning the county is photographed from the air. This becomes public information and also serves as a valuable tool for the assessor’s office to see what structure/property changes are new and which ones are no longer in existence.

That way, the values can be adjusted accordingly.

The county is coming due for that to take place again and York County Assessor Kurt Bulgrin is asking for a new company – Eagle View – to do the work.

As Bulgrin explained to the York County Commissioners, he met Ryan Poots from Eagle View at a recent convention of NACO (Nebraska Association of County Officials) during which he saw the end product of what they produce.

This is much more than just aerial photography, he and Ryan Poots from Eagle View explained and demonstrated.

Typical aerial photography simply shoots “roof top” images and that’s the end of the view. The Eagle View end product provides a 2/3-D look from different angles and also provides a measurement tool.

Poots’ company did work for Seward County and he used imagery from downtown Seward to demonstrate. He showed different angles of the courthouse and how the assessor can use a measurement tool to know all the dimensions of a building – height, width, length.

He also said structures such as grain bins, as an example, can be measured for details of diameter, height, size, etc.

“I have been looking at ways to modernize the office and this company has a product that many other counties are using,” Bulgrin said. “Tasks, such as measuring, can literally be done from a computer instead of having to drive there, to do the physical measurements. Sure, driving the county will still be necessary but this would cut back staff time in the field.”

Bulgrin also asked for ARPA funds be used to pay for this service. He noted he also included it in the budget for the reappraisal sinking fund which is used to save money for this periodic task – but if ARPA funds could be used instead, that would allow the inheritance tax expenditure to not have to take place.

“We are an imagery company,” Poots explained. “We would fly at a time of year when there are no leaves so there would be nothing covered. Every inch of the county would be filmed. This provides efficiencies for the assessor’s office, but this wouldn’t just be for the assessor’s office. It would be for everyone. The state allows for this to be used by assessor offices, instead of driving to property physically. But it also could be used for road department work, as an example. It can be a public safety tool.”

“All the ag land values have to be evaluated every six years and they have to be evaluated this year,” Bulgrin said further. “With this, I could compare what properties looked like last year (regarding the existence of pivots, bins, etc., as an example).”

Poots said it would be a two-flight project over the course of six years.

Bulgrin said Eagle View’s price would actually be $3,000 less than the aerial photography services the county has previously used. “And counties that have used this have found valuations that generated funds that more than paid for the expense of the service.”

Poots also compared their service to that of Google Earth, as an example. He said Google Earth only provides the roof top views, not dimensional imagery, and does not provide the measurement tool they have.

The commissioners will take this service/expense into consideration during the ongoing budget season this summer.


Thanks for reading this article. content is free and never behind a paywall.
We believe in trustworthy, local journalism that is accessible to everyone.