Use of GIS-based web tool provides opportunities for governments and utilities to save scarce funds

The online road construction coordination tool provided by the LINK-GIS partnerships is nearing the end of its second season in operation. The extent of its use by Kenton and Campbell County local governments has grown exponentially, as has the opportunities for rate- and tax-payer savings.

Over 30 public and private agencies are using the tool currently, including Kenton and Campbell County Fiscal Courts, a number of cities in each county, the water and sanitation districts, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Duke Energy, and Cincinnati Bell. Each uploads its street construction/maintenance projects to the GIS-based database called Envista.

“There are over 2,300 individual projects in Envista right now,” said Trisha Brush, GISP, deputy director for GIS administration. “It’s taken awhile for everyone to incorporate this step into their workflow, but it’s working very well now and we’re getting a lot of good feedback.”

A recently-formed user’s group of entities benefitting from the program is providing feedback to staff and each other. Members discuss their success stories, hurdles to using the software, and one-on-one training opportunities. “We’re reminding agencies if they don’t have their projects in there, they can’t coordinate and therefore, they won’t see any cost savings,” Brush said.

To date, cities have documented savings of at least $26,000 by coordinating in Envista. The City of Covington recently saved $18,000 by collaborating with the water district on several streets the city planned to repave and the water district planned to replace water mains.

“Envista had an immediate impact on our productivity and efficiency,” said Mike Yeager, PE, MPA, assistant Covington city engineer. “The city and the various utility companies are now able to coordinate and prioritize projects into the future based upon each other’s needs and budgets.”

The City of Covington will share its success story at the October 26 user’s group meeting. Brush, who recently attended an Envista conference to learn the software’s newest features and give feedback on behalf of the area’s users, will also share the software’s feature enhancements.

“This is just one more example of how GIS and NKAPC’s staff collaboration help to save local rate- and tax-payer dollars,” Brush concluded.