Leon Co. awarded best county for tech in Florida

Leon Co. awarded best county for tech in Florida
Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 7:28 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Leon County was awarded by the Center for Digital Government as the best county for tech in Florida and the fourth best county in America for its size.

“We were recognized for our innovations for cost savings and innovative ideas that we’ve had,” said Michelle Taylor, chief information officer for Leon County.

The county, through a joint effort with the city, was able to set up a COVID-19 vaccine site map showing residents where sites were located.

They were also awarded for their work in hosting the NCAA cross country championships.

“You would think, how would IT have anything to do with parks and rec...Well there was actually quite a bit of technology at the race,” Taylor said.

The county ran fiber optics to allow for viewing everywhere around the course, Taylor said, and provided free Wi-Fi at the event for 8,500 athletes and attendees.

They also provided the infrastructure for ESPN to be able to broadcast live from the event.

“Cellular vendors brought in enough portable devices so that we could have enough Wi-Fi and enough cellular service to support all of the people there,” Taylor said.

Taylor said it’s Leon County’s cost efficiency when it comes to handling county tax dollars that “spurred them” to give the awards to Leon County.

The County’s Geographical Information Systems program was also able to set up a vaccine site map for citizens that was intertwined with the city, Taylor said.

“We do it in a collaborative way better than anybody in the state of Florida,” Taylor said.

Taylor said there were 3,000 eligible counties and 52 received awards. Leon County being the only one in Florida to receive an award.

“It really highlights the dedication of our staff. Our staff is very customer focused,” Taylor said. “So it’s see a need, fulfill a need and through some very creative ways.”

Taylor said the vaccine map was an effective way to utilize technology for those who wanted to get tested for COVID-19.

Taylor said the county is also looking into machine learning, taking fly over imagery of the county area to show the landscape as well.

“It’s allowed up to be able to replace some very manual processes now,” Taylor said. “This new technology allows us to automate some of that through this artificial intelligence.”

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