System to Support Re-Development of Kenton County
Today, the State of Kentucky’s Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) announced that LINK-GIS, Northern Kentucky’s leading geographic information systems provider, is the recipient of an Earth Day Award in recognition of their stewardship of the Kenton County Brownfields Initiative.
LINK-GIS will be honored at the annual EQC Earth Day Award Ceremony held at the Governor’s Mansion on April 22, 2005. This is the only statewide environmental award program recognizing organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to the environmental quality of Kentucky.
What began as a grant application by Northern Kentucky University grew into a collaborative effort involving LINK-GIS, Kenton County and the City of Covington. Together they compiled a brownfields inventory and database for Kenton County that includes 229 identifiable brownfield locations.
Brownfields are historically commercial/industrial properties that are vacant or underutilized due to environmental contamination. Re-development of brownfields contributes to many facets of community vitality, including economic development, job creation, and improvements to public health, environmental, aesthetic qualities.
“The creation of an inventory is the first step to implement a deliberate, community-wide program to promote and facilitate brownfields re-development,” explains Ryan Kent, Principal GIS Specialist, LINK-GIS. “This will allow planners, economic development professionals, citizens, and investors to re-develop brownfields and return them to environmentally safe and productive use.”
“Inadequate information produces inefficient and ineffective public policy in any context,” states Kenton County Judge Executive, Ralph Drees. “In the case of brownfields, with their complex dimensions and often-critical reliance on some public sector support, poor data can translate into a waste of severely limited resources. This is a great first step in making Kenton County a better place to live, work and play.”
What started as partnership of four entities wanting to locate underground utilities has grown into a full-service GIS provider for Kenton, Campbell, and Pendleton Counties. LINK-GIS services city and county agencies including fire and EMS, the water and sanitation districts, Property Valuation, school districts, area businesses, and residents.