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R.A. Smith National, Inc. Knowledge Blog

The Sky's the Limit

by Nate Vaughn 2. April 2014 02:55

R.A. Smith National has purchased a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) and is researching its use for rapid entry into the commercial market. The survey division anticipates using this newer technology to collect certain types of survey data once rules for commercial use of UAVs are promulgated and released by the Federal Aviation Administration in September 2015. The DJI Phantom 2 Quad with GPS will be used exclusively for research and development until federal regulations are in place. The survey division at R.A. Smith National anticipates using the UAV for topographic surveys, aerial LiDAR, photogrammetry and aerial photography. Some of the benefits of a UAV include improved data collection efficiency as well as enhanced productivity.






Clean Water Fund Advisory Group Discusses Priority Scoring System

by Karen Wiesneski 27. March 2014 10:07

The advisory group discussing rule changes to Wisconsin’s Clean Water Fund program met with the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources (WDNR) last week to discuss the program’s priority scoring system.

The WDNR recently completed the scoring of all projects submitted with ITAs (Intent to Apply) and PERFs (Priority Evaluation and Ranking Form) for the current funding cycle. Projects were also scored under proposed ranking methodology for comparative purposes only as part of the rule revision process. (These scores will not be used to rank projects for the current funding cycle.) Scoring results under the existing and proposed methods were compared and modifications made to the proposed system. The advisory group reviewed the proposed methodology and made additional suggestions.

The advisory group and WDNR will hold one final meeting in April. A 30-day public comment period is anticipated in June 2014 with new rules adopted by WDNR before January 2015 in time for legislative review in the spring and rule implementation in summer 2015. WDNR anticipates using the new online submittal process for the 2015 ITA submittals which are due December 31, 2014.

If you have any questions, please contact Robin Schmidt, Chief, Environmental Loans Section, at 608-266-3915 or

Click on my blog posts below to catch up on what else the advisory group discussed at each of the two meetings held earlier this year.

Rules to Be Revised, February 4

Deadlines and Eligibility, March 7

Photo at right:  Chuck Pape, civil engineer with R.A. Smith National, is a voluntary member of the advisory group. He has 30+ years of prior experience with WDNR, serving primarily as their first point of contact for all Clean Water Fund projects in southeastern Wisconsin. Chuck’s experience with the existing funding system at WDNR provides a unique perspective on priority scoring and loan eligibility.





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