MECHANIC FALLS — The Town Council agreed to spend up to $11,000 last week for a Geographic Information System that will map the town’s aboveground and underground infrastructure.

GIS features computer-based tools which store geographical data for analysis, planning, engineering and logistics. The technology will use layers of maps over Google Earth image of Mechanic Falls, showing, for example, the exact location where all water and sewer lines are located.

A representative of iamGIS Group described the features and uses of a GIS system to the Town Council last week. The software, implementation and services has an upfront cost of $11,000. In addition to training, iamGIS will provide unlimited data and digital storage, unlimited maps and layers of maps, and future enhancements and updates.

It will also upload, configure and geo-reference all GPS and GIS data and convert all existing water department maps to the GIS format.

In other business, the council approved a budget schedule for consideration of the 2021-22 fiscal  budget. A joint meeting between the Town Council and Budget Committee will be held Thursdays beginning Feb. 18. A public hearing on the budget articles is scheduled for April 5, the regular council monthly meeting date.

“We are going to have to be flexible on scheduling as well as budgetary once we know what the state is doing,” Town Manager Zakk Maher said. “That will have the biggest potential impact on our budgetary process this year, as it was last year.”

Maher added that revenues for the year “are on point from where we thought they would be,” but warned that could change, depending on COVID-19 and other factors.

The council agreed to the appointment of Michelle Emery as the General Assistance administrator. It also approved medical marijuana license renewals for High Rollers and 420 Pharma, special amusement licenses for Little Brick ZPub and the American Legion hall and a new towing and wrecker policy for the Police Department.

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