By DAVID SEELEY
The Poteau Daily News
Both LeFlore County Assessor Deana Morrison’s staff and some members of the general public got some information on how the Data Scout mapping system works during a meeting Tuesday morning at the LeFlore County Court House.
The LeFlore County Commissioners approved Morrison’s office using Data Scout at its Jan. 3 meeting, and the program got started this week.
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Data Scout Director of Accounts and Sales Phillip Carper gave about a 30-minute presentation on how the program works before getting into an instructional class afterward for Morrison’s staff members
“We’re not only giving the county a good product to use, but also supporting that product,” said Carper, who said there are seven individuals at Data Scout’s main office to help those in need.
Carper said the Data Scout OneMap system the County Assessor’s office will use will not be the exact one members of the general public will be able to use.
“Any of the mapping information that is fed to the public side is actually being pushed from the internal mapping system the county assessor will use, and it will be pushed live to the public website,” Carper said. “Their system will be harder than what the public will use. On the public side, we’ll make it much more simple.”
On the Data Scout OneMap system, Morrison’s office will be able to use the system to locate oneself, print multiple sizes of documents, e-mail such documents, mark off parts of property for selling to measure size in acres, measure lines to measure for a concrete company to come out to make a driveway or measure how many feet from house to property line.
Morrison’s office will have access to four different types of Google searches — Google Geographic Information System (GIS), Google Hybrid, Google Satellite without labels and Google Street View.
“Google Hybrid is going to be the most common because it’s going to be the most clear and easiest to see,” Carper said.
Carper said Morrison’s staff will be able to select storm shelters to see where all the storm shelters are located.
“When your appraisal teams go around and try to find changes to property, they might mark there’s a storm shelter,” Carper said. “This is really going to be helpful for your emergency service team. What’s really great for this is that it makes it able for your emergency manager to see this as well and get access to this information. That can actually help them complete a database for storm shelters. That way, if you did have a disaster in this area, they would know which houses to go to make sure no one is trapped. It’s really good for your public safety for marking storm shelters.”
Other things that can be marked for Morrison’s staff are tax districts, property types, neighborhoods, market areas, sections, townships and ranges, voting precincts, school districts, commissioner districts, zip codes and more to help her staff do their job. If property is valued too high or low, they can check out transfers from last year to as far back as five years ago and tell when parcel was sold and for how much.
“There’s a lot of different information to help them from state and local groups as well,” Carper said.
Morrison’s staff will be able to edit information real estate parcels, subdivisions, lots, blocks, improvement and land use. Also, gate codes will be on the map to help county commissioners, emergency manager and assessor get on to property. Also, national flood hazard information can be made available as well as sharing information on other counties and states who use Data Scout.
“We can show them a lot of other things, like wind turbines, cell towers, gas wells, municipal boundaries, traffic count, railroad crossings, all the bridges in Oklahoma and electrical transmission lines and how many volts,” Carper said. “The big difference in between this system (Data Scout MapOne) and what the public will have is they (county assessors) click on any item and get more information. The reason we call this OneMap is because we try to bring in lots of resources for them (county assessors) from outside so they’re not having to go to multiple mapping systems or websites. The information they need should be available for them right inside this system. There’s a lot of different layers in here to help your assessor make decisions.”
As for the general public, Carper said the website information will be updated daily by Morrison’s staff, and anyone will be able to e-mail the County Assessor’s office. County information will be made available. Millage rates, major cities, population, total parcels, water areas, land areas, frequently asked questions, link to county assessor’s website and Oklahoma Tax Commission’s website.
“A lot of people call this ‘The one-stop shop’ for your taxpayers,” Carper said. “We try to put everything your taxpayers will need into one location. It’s going to be a lot more simple. It’s going to have more of a technical search engine and a mapping side. I don’t have the version for your county out yet, but it should be out in the next few weeks.”
Searches can be done by first name only, last name only or both first and last name as well as by mailing address, parcel, account number, physical address, subdivisions, sections, townships and ranges and previous owners. Up to 25 parcel cards can be sent by e-mail under “batch print” option. Photographs, sketches and maps can be included and can be viewed. Parcel cards will show the general public the property owner, property information, extended legal description, market and assessed values, taxes and any exemptions, land use, different codes and size of acres, all deed transfers, the last time it was purchased, for what purpose and by whom, outbuildings and yard improvements and the lay of the land with a map.
Carper said there will be a more advanced training on the public’s Data Scout website at a later date, dealing with more professional features — like a real estate agent might need.