Community Planning & Resilience News
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ERIN is a custom-built application for the Louisiana Secretary of State providing a repository of information on all Louisiana voters and voting related information. In 2005, GCR began conversion of Louisiana’s 20-year-old IBM mainframe system that maintained voter registration information to a Microsoft .NET and SQL Server platform. The initial assignment was completed in 2006 and was followed by a 3 year extension to further develop the voter registration system and to build a redistricting and GIS interface.
ERIN has zero tolerance for error and 24/7/365 is required for availability and reliability. It is used by 64 parish Registrars of Voters to maintain critical information on voters and provides functions for all election-related accounting activities including paying vendors and personnel who work for an election event. External interfaces within the system ensure up-to-date information; namely, the Louisiana Department of Corrections, Vital Records for Death verification, and the Office of Motor Vehicles/ Department of Public Safety (DPS). For example, the system communicates with LADPS to query the driver’s license database and verify the identity of a person filling out an online form. This project included GIS-based districting, Internet voter registration, and other enhancements.
Fourteen HIDTA agencies around the country use GCR’s deconfliction software, SAFETNet, to eliminate conflicts among undercover drug events between different law enforcement agencies. Although each HIDTA has the same goal, each agency reaches this goal in different ways; and the software each uses needs to adapt to their needs. This requires detailed project management procedures to control implementation of the various customer-specific configurations. Because the mission of the HIDTAs is law-enforcement and not technology management, the HIDTAs sought a vendor with experience in project management, software implementation, and data security.
GCR determined that the best course of action was to implement consistent best-practices for the management of the development efforts across the various HIDTAs. To stabilize the software products and manage ongoing development and enhancements to the products, GCR customized its corporate standards and procedures to the needs of the HIDTAs. GCR then developed best practices for requirements management, communications, application testing, and implementation. GCR inventoried software bugs and desired changes or feature enhancements that could be released at a later date without affecting productivity. Once this inventory was developed, GCR worked with the stakeholders at the HIDTAs to develop a planned implementation of the fixes and enhancements. These procedures have improved the software and the consistency of implementations.
Jefferson Parish, Louisiana:
GCR provided real estate planning advisory services for the Huey P. Long Bridge Widening Project in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana.
In January 2001, the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (LADOTD) and Modjeski & Masters retained GCR to provide real estate planning advisory services relative to the Huey P. Long Bridge Widening Project in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. Five preliminary design alternatives, 2 on the Eastbank and 3 on the Westbank, were evaluated. GCR worked closely with Modjeski & Masters and LADOTD in the evaluation and selection of an alternative that would minimize impacts to the business and residential communities. Throughout the project, GCR routinely met with representatives of Modjeski & Masters and LADOTD to present land and relocation costs for each of the alternatives. In many instances, the real estate information was used to support redesign in various locations where minimizing the required right-of-way would greatly reduce project costs.
The services provided by GCR for this initiative included title research to identify property ownership; preparation of comprehensive title reports documenting vested real estate interests; preliminary right-of-way maps; real estate acquisition cost estimates; and conceptual stage relocation plans for each of the five alternatives.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana:
In the spring of 2009, the State of Louisiana needed a tracking system to provide reports on recovery-related infrastructure projects to the Governor’s office, the Louisiana Recovery Authority, and the public. The system would be the primary reporting vehicle used to track infrastructure projects and expenditure of funds related to hurricane recovery. These types of reports were being assembled manually; and much of the information was being duplicated, causing inaccurate reports with repeated projects and duplicate funding sources.
The challenge in this project was to combine and clean disparate datasets into a database that would capture all project details without duplicate records, and to create an application to provide access to this database. The application had to be web-based and user-friendly; provide reporting capabilities, both custom and pre-defined; provide an interface that would allow users to view data at multiple levels; and be flexible and adaptable to the future needs of the State. An important function was providing transparency on government spending.
Using ASP.NET, GCR designed a web-based application to meet all of these requirements. The new application combines recovery projects from various data sources into a central repository and allows filtering of this data by disaster, applicant, project type, funding, and location. The results are displayed in both tabular and graphic format.
The website, rebuild.la.gov, which went live in September 2009, lists public investment in infrastructure and provides a detailed view of those investments as well as means to track recovery dollars being spent in the state. It is a cooperative endeavor of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, Office of Community Development’s Disaster Recovery Unit and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security.
In October 2009 GCR developed a residential portal for the existing website that provides a comprehensive inventory of investments. Users have the ability to derive counts of applicants by neighborhood, city, or parish; calculate disbursement of funds; determine funding gaps; and track the rebuilding activity in relation to flood damage. Confidential individual household information is only available to authorized OCD-DRU users via a secured admin site.
Rebuilding activity of properties is determined by GCR’s Activity Index©, a compilation of several data elements including U.S. Postal Service delivery records, Louisiana Tax Commission records, etc. The Activity Index has been used by the Louisiana Office of Community Development since July of 2009, and currently uses monthly activity updates of Road Home applicants to determine gap funding needs and target neighborhoods in need of additional case management services. This confidential activity index data is displayed in UI and Map screens on the admin site of the residential portal.
Features of the application include printing residential portal and infrastructure maps into PDF reports, including parcel layers to the admin site; printing parcel reports from the GIS map; and security setup screens for admin.
The Rebuild Louisiana Portal, Rebuild.LA.Gov, serves as a model of how technology can be used to bring government transparency to the public.
New Orleans, LA:
GCR provides turnkey real estate related services to support the Lake Pontchartrain, LA and Vicinity, and the Westbank and Vicinity, New Orleans, LA, Hurricane Protection Projects.
Following Hurricane Katrina, GCR was selected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide turnkey real estate related services in support of the Lake Pontchartrain, LA and Vicinity, and the Westbank and Vicinity, New Orleans, LA, Hurricane Protection Projects.
GCR coordinates and assists surveyors, appraisers, title abstractors and attorneys in the production of plat maps, legal descriptions, project segment maps, appraisal reports, tract ownership data packets, 60-80 year abstracts of title, interim title binders and final title policies. GCR handles negotiations with landowners for the acquisition of property in fee, and/or as temporary or perpetual easements, and performs relocations for affected owner-occupants, tenants and materials.
GCR has developed a web-based management system for inventorying parcels, ownership information, and uploading critical closing and sale documents, surveys, appraisal reports and other relevant documents. This enables GCR to quickly provide the Corps with detailed status reports by project and parcel.
All processes are in accordance with Public Law 91-646 and the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, as amended, as well as Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 24, Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition for Federal and Federally-Assisted Programs.
Since selected, the Corps has issued continuous task orders to provide services for numerous emergency flood protection projects throughout the metropolitan area including the following projects.
West Bank & Vicinity Hurricane Protection Project
• Lake Cataouatche Levee, Jefferson Parish
• Project Mitigation – Bayou Segnette Site, Jefferson Parish
• Project Mitigation – Davis Pond Site, St. Charles Parish
• Segnette Pump Station to Old Westwego, Contract 1, Jefferson Parish
• Sector Gate to U.S. Minerals (Harvey Canal), Jefferson Parish
• U.S. Minerals to Boomtown Casino (Harvey Canal), Jefferson Parish
• Hero Pump Station to Algiers Canal, Contract 2A, Plaquemines Parish
• Hero Pump Station to Algiers, Canal, Contract 3A, Plaquemines Parish
• Western Tie-In Levees, Churchill Borrow Site, Jefferson Parish
• Belle Chasse Highway to Hero Cut, Plaquemines Parish
Lake Pontchartrain, LA and Vicinity Hurricane Protection Project
• Maynard Borrow Site, Orleans Parish
• Cummings Borrow, Site, Orleans Parish
• London Avenue Canal (Pratt Drive), Orleans Parish
New Orleans, LA:
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the need for a new framework for development and public investment was evident to the residents and leadership of the City of New Orleans. Outmoded regulatory controls, sometimes contradictory zoning requirements, and the existing, disjointed Comprehensive Plan would not be sufficient to respond adequately to the dynamic development challenges that New Orleans faced. Following the recommendations of the Unified New Orleans Plan, the City set out to rewrite its Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance.
A team of consultants headed by Goody Clancy & Associates of Boston, was selected to direct this initiative. GCR served as one of the principal consultants on the project team, playing a multifaceted leadership role including a number of “core” planning responsibilities – public outreach facilitation, GIS mapping and geospatial analysis, data management, and demographic analysis and projections.
GCR was also lead coordinator on two central components of the plan. The first element, “How We Prosper,” focused on economic development in downtown New Orleans, the city’s commercial transportation infrastructure, and the revitalization of neighborhood commercial districts.
The second element, “Sustainable Systems,” provided a holistic approach to the city’s infrastructure—evaluating the existing physical needs of New Orleans’ transportation, energy, and hydrological systems, as well as the systems that support social health and safety. Running throughout this element of the plan was a continued emphasis on hazard mitigation and long-term sustainability.
The New Orleans Master Plan and Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance will chart a course for New Orleans’ future for the next 20 years and provides a clear, user-friendly document that will be a tool for implementation.
The New Orleans City Planning Commission and the New Orleans City Council approved the document in 2010.
New Orleans, LA:
The New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), a public-private partnership between investors and city government, is leading the effort to craft an Economic Development Strategic Plan for the City of New Orleans.
This project is occurring in 3 phases:
• In the 1st phase (early 2012) NOLABA commissioned Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) to develop a body of data to serve as the baseline for the planning process.
• The 2nd phase, now underway, convened a Strategic Advisory Council of 75 stakeholders from a diverse cross-section of New Orleans to outline a strategic focus for the city, focusing on 5 industry clusters.
• The 3rd phase will be implementation.
The baseline research from the 1st phase identified 13 industry clusters in New Orleans. Over the course of 3 meetings, the Strategic Advisory Council was informed of the baseline research and commentary from industry experts for each cluster. The Strategic Advisory Council then voted on the top 5 clusters for strategic focus in the plan. From December 2012 through February 2013, recommendations and strategic actions will be further developed within cluster-specific subcommittees. The final report will be released in the spring of 2013.
GCR is the facilitator for the entire strategic planning process. In August 2012, GCR began developing the facilitation plan for the Strategic Advisory Council’s formation and meetings. GCR and the project team have been responsible for everything from meeting logistics and facilitation to conducting data analysis, developing and designing presentations, and preparing meeting materials.
GCR is briefing materials for the subcommittee process as well as facilitating those subcommittee meetings and developing their strategic actions. GCR will also facilitate the remaining two meetings to synthesize the larger Strategic Advisory Council’s feedback into the final plan. This transformative project will hopefully impact the economic growth of New Orleans for many years to come.
New Orleans, LA:
New Orleans Aviation Board
Since 1997, GCR has developed, implemented, and integrated technology solutions to help streamline the management of the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.
Property & Revenue Management System
In 2005, GCR implemented its AirportIQ Business Manager (ABM) to manage all commercial properties, airlines, and ground transportation operators at the airport. This system provides billing for all revenue generated at the airport, and manages all cash receipts. The system serves as the financial A/R sub-ledger, and integrates at the G/L level with the airport’s ERP system.
Systems Implementation & Integration
GCR automated and streamlined the flow of paperwork related to the capital facilities program at the airport. This project included many tasks, including GCR’s AIRPortal application used by all airport service providers to enter and manage their DBE quarterly reports. It also included an integration point between the airport’s ERP and GCR’s AirportIQ Property Manager (APM). This allowed APM to read accounts payable and general ledger entries related to individual projects and then use this information to manage the flow of funds and the closeout of projects.
An informational portal that summarizes all relevant information was developed to allow executive staff to view summary information on agreements, revenues, airline activity and cargo, and capital facilities program.
Recovery Project Management & Reporting System
Immediately after Hurricane Katrina, GCR began working with the New Orleans Aviation Board to develop an information management system to track projects and the potential funding sources (FEMA, FAA, Insurance, state, etc.) for each hurricane recovery project. The list of projects covered many facilities and activities, including managing and coordinating repairs to roofs; security systems; baggage systems; flight information systems; terminal carpeting; airfield lighting; public areas of the terminals; and design, planning and implementation of a site for temporary trailers to house airport employees and tenant staff.
Security & Operations Management System (SOMS)
Built from the best features of GCR’s AirportIQ airport operations software and law enforcement records management systems, the SOMS provides a common interface for reporting security and operational activities to both internal airport users and to external agencies. A multi-level reporting module allows rapid communication of activities and incidents to airlines and other tenants. In addition to streamlining data entry and automating the flow of paperwork related to the capital facilities program, this project gave Airport business partners an effective and convenient way to participate in the DBE certification process.
Through a multi-year contract, GCR worked with a local company to complete the aviation obstruction study for the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority. The study included Memphis International Airport and two general aviation airports – General DeWitt Spain Airport and Charles W. Baker Airport. GCR supervised all surveying activities and fieldwork, and evaluated all runway ends.
GCR used its Photoslope process to document the status of runway approach surfaces and chart airport obstructions. This specialized survey technique uses ground based terrestrial photography and surveying techniques to determine the condition of State Standard Approach Surfaces, FAR Part 77 Approach Surfaces or TERPs Approach and Missed Approach Surfaces.
Photoslope utilizes advanced high-resolution digital photography taken within the designated approach boundary. Images of the approach surface are taken at three separate positions; from the centerline, the left edge of the approach, and the right edge of the approach. Using these photographs, combined with sophisticated computer modeling, obstructions are digitized to determine the precise x, y, and z location. This process gives Photoslope the ability to visually display the Runway Approach Surface and identify objects obstructing the approach. The resulting Photoslope report is a precise record of the Approach Surface airspace, containing visual depictions and dimensions of obstructions.
Baton Rouge, LA:
Louisiana Lottery Corporation
This comprehensive web-based data management and reporting application contains rich demographic data, is fully accessible via computer or mobile devices, and provides detailed sales and demographics reports by outlet, jurisdiction, game, and time period.
GCR developed the application to support the Louisiana Lottery Corporation. It presents data in easy to understand reports, charts, graphs and maps, and offers automated data collection at periods specified by the user–on a schedule, on demand, or in real time. The application defines lottery outlets by address and associates them with relevant block level data as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau. As a result, users can generate per capita sales per outlet, and assess market penetration and capacity for predefined jurisdictions or custom areas.
The industry has greeted the application as a breakthrough product because of the seamless integration of data from the point of sale, and the advanced user driven reporting, mapping, and analytical routines.
About Louisiana Lottery Corporation
Louisiana Lottery Corporation began in 1991 as a way to generate revenue without increasing taxes. Its mission is to generate maximum revenues for the state of Louisiana – the corporation’s sole shareholder.