Borough board approves flyovers for next reval

NAUGATUCK — The borough is planning two more flyovers to assist officials with the next property revaluation.

During a special meeting Jan. 17, the Board of Mayor and Burgesses approved an agreement with Pictometry to do a flyover in late 2019 and 2022.

Pictometry, a Henrietta, N.Y.-based aerial measurement company, uses an aircraft with five cameras mounted on its underside to collect high-resolution images of a municipality.

The borough hired the company in 2017 to assist with the revaluation that was completed last year.

“It is a very efficient tool that saves a lot of time of people going out in the field and looking at properties,” Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said. “We had a very good experience with it.”

Hess said the flyovers allow officials to spot improvements, such as an addition to a deck, they would normally not be able to see.

The state requires towns to perform a full physical revaluation every 10 years to assess the current market values of properties for tax purposes, and a less-intense revaluation every five years.

Assessor Carol Ann Tyler said a change in state law allows for flyovers to take the place of sending people out to look at homes.

“The statute says we do not have to physically view the property. Just that we must view the property,” Tyler said.

Tyler said the photos from flyovers are loaded onto Pictometry’s computer program, and officials will use them to compare to photos from a previous flyover.

“With this tool, we will be able to see a lot of things we would not normally be able to see,” Tyler said.

The two flyovers will cost a combined $52,000. The money will be paid over five years, officials said, including $3,000 that is in the 2018-19 budget.

Tyler said using just the flyovers will save about $200,000 during the next revaluation, which is scheduled for 2022, because the borough won’t have to hire people or a company to go view homes.