During its annual meeting recently, the Clay County Public Records Commission approved requests to destroy records by the Clay County Auditor's Office and Clay County Jail.
"This is something done annually and we file a report stating what is being destroyed," Commission member and Clay County Auditor Mary Jo Alumbaugh said.
Alumbaugh told The Brazil Times the Indiana Commission of Public Records sets requirements to retain various documents.
"We are allowed to dispose certain documents after a specific number of years which depends on the type of document," Alumbaugh told The Times. "However, we always keep them at least a year longer than required just in case we need to double check some of the information."
Despite some paper records being destroyed, the information is retained by other means.
"We never destroy any actual legal documents, and all the information is recorded either on microfilm, the financial ledgers we always keep or in some other form," she said. "From our office, it is mainly old claims, forms and tax sale information."
Clay County Justice Center Jail Commander Ken Rollings said the jail also retains its information from the destroyed records.
"We keep a 10-year backlog of the information through the Indiana Department of Correction, but for our own purposes, we keep them for 15 years," Rollings said. "For us, it is mainly property sheets, medical records and other things inmates file every day."
Rollings added all the paperwork leads to an "overabundance of records," which Alumbaugh said makes it difficult to maintain with a limited amount of space at the Clay County Courthouse and Clay County Jail.
"Having all the paperwork takes up a lot of space," she said. "It clears up a lot of room by being able to record the information digitally, or by other means, and destroy the massive amount of paper."
The commission also discussed other ways of digitizing and indexing more records for historical purposes in the future.