Indiana County’s Assessor’s Office Turns to EagleView During COVID-19
At almost 400 square miles, Warrick County in southern Indiana features several ways of life – its blend of rural farmland, quaint riverside towns and reclaimed strip ground is home to around 60,000 people. Much like the rest of the country, too, the county was not immune to the effects of COVID-19.
“At a time like this, ensuring your workforce is set up to work safely and remotely is of the utmost importance,” says Robert Locke, SVP, Government Solutions. “EagleView is committed to assisting government employees during this transition by providing solutions that drive efficiency and enable safe practices.”
When Sarah Redman, Warrick County Assessor, found out in early April that physical staff in the office would have to be minimized, and that the employees forced to work remotely would need to remain busy to receive their full pay, she knew that finding a work-from-home option was critical. That’s when she turned her attention to EagleView’s ChangeFinder product.
EagleView: When COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic, what actions did Warrick County take?
Sarah Redman: Warrick County Government was quick to assess the situation and keep us informed along the way. The Commissioners began restricting public access on March 18, 2020 and that currently remains in effect until June 8, 2020. They provided the tools we need to assist the public. We have all adapted and been innovative with finding alternative solutions to traditional methods.
EagleView: How did the transition to working remotely affect your department specifically?
SR: In a Department Head meeting early in the pandemic, we quickly realized where we could be headed and decided to be proactive. Our department wanted more, but was able to secure four laptops anticipating how the landscape of our jobs could change. With those in hand we quickly worked with our IT department to prepare them for remote access for the 10 employees that would need them. With the limited number of computers to accommodate the staff, we had to be creative.
EagleView: How did you manage to deal with the limited resources you were given?
SR: We were told that the first week of April we would need to minimize staff in the office, and if we could not provide a work from home option staff members would not receive their full pay. This meant we needed to quickly find a work-from-home option for staff who could not remote into their desktops. That’s where ChangeFinder came into play.
EagleView: How did you use ChangeFinder?
SR: With our 2018 aerial flight, we purchased ChangeFinder. Being new to the program, we jumped in, identified property and structural changes and made corrections. As we have neared the end of the two years and approached the 2020 flight, we realized that we really had a need to review each identified structure. Having so much rural property, it is truly amazing how much is built, or torn down, without us knowing or having ever seeing a permit.
I distributed spreadsheets of the identified structures for staff to start working through. This was a perfect work-from-home solution. ChangeFinder is web-based so even staff without a county-issued laptop could easily review the spreadsheets from their home computers.
EagleView: What value did you find when going over existing ChangeFinder data?
SR: I decided to track their progress for the month of April. During this time, our staff reviewed and cleared 6,838 structures and picked up an additional $567,710 of assessment that previously was overlooked. There is a lot of satisfaction knowing you have laid eyes on each parcel and have your data up to date.
During our first phase of ChangeFinder use we have added $5,691,387 in assessments to date, and we are not done yet.
EagleView: Anything else you’d like to add about EagleView’s imagery solutions?
SR: I have been thrilled with the support, service, and professionalism of EagleView. To anyone considering EagleView – I would be more than happy to discuss some of the experiences we have had as well as suggestions on things that I would have done different in regards to my approach to ChangeFinder.