Location: St. Paul, MN
Client: Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council
Since 2008, Legacy dollars have influenced natural resource projects across the State of Minnesota. Throughout these years, a sales tax increase of merely three-eighths of 1% has added up to more than $1 billion in funding. The Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC) accepts and manages proposals from entities across the State to spend a portion of these dollars on land acquisitions and enhancement projects.
The amount of information to track can be overwhelming, given the vast number of proposals and projects managed by the Council. Accountability is key as tax dollars fuel these projects.
Beginning in 2011, HEI and LSOHC formed a great partnership to help track proposals and projects funded by Outdoor Heritage Fund dollars. To develop this custom web-based data management system, HEI’s team led a needs assessment to determine the best database architecture and functional requirements.
Collaborating with LSOHC, Houston Engineering, Inc. (HEI) identified that the system needed to be easy-to-use and provide reporting services vital to ensure accountability to the public and other entities involved. HEI also created wireframes to guarantee that the system would include all functional requirements desired. Finally, the system needed to be flexible and evolve as the LSOHC reporting needs changed.
Features of the proposal and project tracking system include:
- A public portal to accept proposals and allow awardees to report on projects.
- The ability to track land parcels that are acquired, enhanced, or restored.
- Comprehensive administrative tools to help LSOHC staff with day-to-day activities and reporting.
- The ability to manage revisions and amendments of each project.
- The ability to produce approval correspondence, making data available through custom reports.
- An option to export data and reports to a public map viewer.
Because tax dollars are used to generate project funding, it is extremely important
for LSOHC to show the public transparent and accountable reports about completed projects. The data management system is integrated with GIS to provide an interactive map of projects throughout Minnesota showing the general public the impact of Outdoor Heritage Fund dollars. The long-term working relationship forged by HEI and LSOHC shows the importance of harnessing emerging technologies to help entities with key organizational and reporting functions. This improves efficiency, accuracy, and transparency with stakeholders.
For more information about the Legacy Fund or LSOHC, visit lsohc.leg.mn