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Supervisors approve purchase of GPS survey equipment

Union County Board of Supervisors voted for the purchase of surveying equipment for Union County Secondary Roads Department during the regularly scheduled meeting Monday at the boardroom.

Zach Gunsolley, Union County engineer, brought information to the board about purchasing the equipment to make road construction and maintenance more accurate and efficient.

“Our equipment was over 10 years old and he (Zach) was just upgrading to get more advanced equipment and be able to do a better job,” said Ron Riley, Union County supervisor.

“With the GPS technology where it’s at today, it’s a one-person operation,” Gunsolley said.

The eight pieces of equipment being purchased totaled $13,436.80, and are made up of a GPS rover, Panasonic touch pad, upgrades for current GPS technology, cradle with pole clamp for the touch pad, screen protector for the touch pad, bag for the hot spot and one-day on-site training from the vendor.

The touch pad is the brains of each project because information is entered into it, and the hot spot will talk to a state plane-coordinate system to also verify accuracy.

The GPS rover uses global positioning system technology via satellite to mark specific places on Earth for Secondary Roads workers. Where one worker would work at a total station and shoot a laser to a pole carried by another worker, the rover now does the work.

Also, the software updates are for current software being used by Secondary Roads that Gunsolley said is “a dinosaur from a technology perspective.” However, he suggested purchasing the updates because the software is “still worth something, so it’s worth updating.” He also suggested planning ahead because he is unsure how long it will be till they need new software.

“They’ll just be more accurate and faster and, basically, I think, take less people to do a job,” Riley said said, “Where it took maybe three or four, one could actually do it with this new equipment.”

The board members unanimously voted to purchase the equipment from Transit Works of Des Moines.

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