Aurora, CO USA - Merrick & Company, a world leader in LIDAR, digital ortho imaging, photogrammetry and GIS mapping was awarded a $345,000 contract to deliver raw and processed LIDAR data, 2-foot contours, and a DEM for 1650 square miles of Stearns County, Minnesota and a small portion of two neighboring counties, Sherburne and Benton. The project is funded by Stearns County, seven local municipalities, a watershed district, and a soil and water conservation district.

Merrick was awarded the project based on our competitive scoring system which included high marks for their technology, methodology, delivery options, and their attention to details that are important to the County," explains Denny Kron, Director of Land Management/County Surveyor for Stearns County.

Gary Outlaw, GISP, Merrick's Vice President of Business Development, GeoSpatial Solutions states, "Merrick is pleased to support this topographic mapping program. We are using the County's existing imagery in order to reduce the overall project cost."

Stearns County is located in central Minnesota and is home to over 140,000 residents. The county has experienced steady annual growth of approximately three-percent in the recent past, and presently has approximately 72,000 parcels. The new LIDAR and derived data will be used throughout the county by various public and private entities for flood insurance analysis, planning and zoning studies for new subdivisions, watershed management, assessing land value based on production potential in agricultural zones, and supporting geographic information system applications.