Press Release

Commission hosts workshop on Municipal Uses of GIS


RE: Planning Commission sponsors April 24 Workshop on Geographic Information Systems and Mapping Technology for Assessing, Planning, and Permitting

Hancock County Planning Commission Forum To Focus on Uses of Geographic Information Systems for Assessing and Development Review

Striking a Balance organizers announce the 30th forum in the development-related workshop series at the VFW Hall at 419 Main Street (Washington Junction Road) in Ellsworth from 5:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 24, 2014. The topic is municipal uses of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The session qualifies for education credits for code enforcement officers, local plumbing inspectors, and assessors.

Participants must register by April 22, 2014. Registration at the door is not possible. A registration fee of $18.00 will include a light meal and materials. Please note that doors will open at 5:00 p.m. for confirming registration and the meal. The program will begin at promptly 6:00 p.m.

Speakers include town of Mount Desert Assessor Kyle Avila, who will focus on uses of GIS in the town office, including assessing. Maine DEP Environmental Specialist Stephenie MacLagan will discuss how to access and use natural resource data in reviewing land development applications. Tora Johnson, Director of the University of Maine-Machias GIS Service Center, will explain how GIS technology can be scaled to work for towns of various sizes and budgets.

“This is an opportunity for local officials and land developers to learn about emerging technology and its potential use for various town operations,” explained Hancock County Planning Commission executive director Tom Martin. “The days of hand-drawn paper maps are over,” Martin continued. “We now have access to vast amounts of data that can be analyzed and displayed on maps to assist town staff and elected leaders to make better choices for their economy, land use, transportation, natural resources, and more.”

Striking a Balance was developed to address issues related to land development in Hancock County. Striking a Balance has been very well received, often attracting more than 100 participants consisting of municipal officials, real estate agents, code enforcement officers, developers, and the community at large. Funding was provided in part by the Maine Coastal Program.

To register, or for more information, please contact Sheri Walsh, HCPC Administrative Assistant/Planning Technician, at 667-7131 or


Contact: Tom Martin, Hancock County Planning Commission Executive Director

395 State St.

Ellsworth, ME 04605

207-667-7131 (office)

207-667-2099 (fax)

Date: April 2, 2014