WILMINGTON -- The town has added a unique tool to its website that previously, only listers had access to.
"We have always wanted to get something to go on the website," said Wilmington Board of Lister's Administrative Assistant Deb Kingsley. "So I have talked to the mappers that we use and they decided to develop one."
Using TownView Online, people can now look at property ownership, partial identification numbers, real estate property taxes and street numbers and see how different properties look from the sky. Distances from one parcel to another can also be determined.
The Dummerston-based company Cartographic Technologies Inc. set the system up on May 14, and it can be found at wilmingtonvermont.us. To get to it, go to Departments then click Grand List/Board of Lister's. There, a link for TownView Online will be available.
Susan Boswell, a principal of the company, told the Reformer that the online system would allow municipal employees to do their jobs better.
"Also it can help keep certain people out of the Town Offices. People looking for abutters, lawyers or realtors," she said. "It's an efficiency tool but it provides information to people who readily need it and who aren't regularly in the Town Offices."
More companies in the mapping field were beginning to offer such services online and as one of Cartographic Technologies' long-time clients, Wilmington agreed to test the beta site. The company hopes that other towns that it provides other mapping services to will be interested.
The online service is not meant to be used for surveying but rather for informational purposes, Kingsley said.
"It will get updated with any new subdivisions or changes, which I guess will be happening a lot with the development going on," she added.
Recently, an influx of potential businesses have submitted applications to the Development Review Board. Properties in the downtown region are being purchased as efforts to fill vacant buildings there continue.
There are some minor adjustments currently being performed by the TownView developers to make the online service more user friendly. There is also a disclaimer before entering the site that informs users that it is not a primary source and it only represents original source data.
Approximately two years ago, Cartographic Technologies had asked if Wilmington would be interested in having the service available online and Kingsley said yes.
"We've been trying to get things more accessible for people," she said.
So far, law offices and former land owners have logged on to use the service through the Wilmington website. It is also expected to be resourceful for town clerks' offices.
Brattleboro has the online service set up for in-house use only. Boswell said many towns would love to offer it to the public but it's a matter of budget restraints at this time.
According to Town Manager Scott Murphy, the plan is to try the service for one year then request public input and see if it can be adjusted so that it will be met with approval.
"People doing research can do it from home," he said. "There's a ton of information."
The service cost the town $1,000 to have set up and there is a $2,000 annual fee attached to it.
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.