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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Possible solution found to safely restore records

Friday, February 11, 2011

(Photo)
These are just a few of the shelving units in the basement of the Clay County Courthouse, which contain public records in need of sorting. If there are records that have been kept beyond the required retention schedule, they can be purged. Jason Jacobs Photo. [Order this photo]
Some of Clay County's older record books may become usable again in the near future.

During Friday's meeting of the Clay County Public Records Commission, a discussion was conducted on how to safely digitize records in books with toxic mold currently being stored at the old Clay County Jail.

Clay County Recorder Joe Dierdorf said according to officials with the Indiana Commission on Public Records, the books may not be destroyed unless the information contained in them is retained in some other form.

"According to state code, the books we have are considered permanent records," he said. "In order to be able to destroy them, we would have to scan each page and put them on microfilm."

The safety of handling the books -- of which Commission President Charlie Brown said there are approximately 250-300 large ledger-sized books -- has been a concern for county officials for a number of years, but Dierdorf provided a possible solution.

"There are some air purifying units available with the technology to eliminate any mold on the books," he said. "It may end up being less trouble than we have thought."

Clay County Auditor Mary Jo Alumbaugh added any proposed projects at the old jail, including the possibility of tearing it down, would be on hold until a solution is found for at least storing the records elsewhere.

The commission approved a motion to research the cost of renting an air purifier that could kill the mold, as well as the potential costs of scanning and microfilming the information, which Alumbaugh said may be charged by the page.

Meanwhile, the commission briefly discussed the amount of public records which has been building in the Clay County Courthouse basement.

(Photo)
Joe Dierdorf
"It's really gotten out of hand in the basement," Brown said about the approximately 40-50 file cabinets and numerous shelving units with public records dating back years.

It was mentioned each office has its own requirements set by the state as to how long various types of records have to be retained before they can be "purged." However, while some paper records may be destroyed after a set period of time, there are also requirements on which ones have to be retained by other means.

The commission agreed to send out a notice to all county officeholders reminding them of the retention schedule in an effort to scale down the space paper records take up in the basement.

While the commission is only required to meet once a year, they scheduled another meeting for Friday, March 11, in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse to present results of the cost analysis.


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Mold can cause serious health problems. For accurate information about the health effects of mold, go to http://truthaboutmold.info and http://globalindoorhealthnetwork.com.

-- Posted by TruthAboutMold on Sun, Feb 13, 2011, at 5:47 PM

Generally books with mold on them have to be individually cleaned. An air purifier along with a good HVAC system that keeps the relative humidity of an area under 55% will help clean the air and stop the spread of mold, but I'm not sure it will take the mold already present on the books off. Hopefully the commission will contact a good paper conservator and seek their expertise. A good source for information is the Northeast Document Conservation Center http://www.nedcc.org/home.php

-- Posted by resonator on Tue, Feb 15, 2011, at 11:41 AM

Generally books with mold on them have to be individually cleaned. An air purifier along with a good HVAC system that keeps the relative humidity of an area under 55% will help clean the air and stop the spread of mold, but I'm not sure it will take the mold already present on the books off. Hopefully the commission will contact a good paper conservator and seek their expertise. A good source for information is the Northeast Document Conservation Center http://www.nedcc.org/home.php

-- Posted by resonator on Tue, Feb 15, 2011, at 11:50 AM


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