County commissioners heard a request from the probate court deputy director, Connie Nance, for some assistance with the courts record management. Putting those records online and easily accessible by computer is more efficient and described as “a better way of doing business.”
It’s efficient for the “customer,” who can access records online and the office worker who can fetch a document from a computer file and not have to root through a box of documents.
While the court has tried and succeeded in keeping its costs down, another problem has befallen it.
“We’ve fallen behind in the upgrade of the system,” Nance said.
In consulting with Rob Slane, information technology director for the county, Nance said he gave three options on PCs and monitors. Slane told her the computers must be equipped with substantial memory to be capable of storing the vast amount of documents in electronic files. Of the eight computers within the office, it was recommended five of them should be replaced.
Another machine would be needed to scan records which have been recorded previously on microfilm. She said that is necessary because the machines to read microfilm are becoming not only harder to find but also difficult to buy.
Upgrading the system Nance said will be “expensive.”
She said her best “guesstimate” of the upgrade is between $80,000 and $85,000.
“Nothing has been chosen,” she said.
The commissioners concurred the upgrade is necessary.
“It’s something that makes sense,” commissioner Paul Gross said. “It’s the right way to do business, the right thing to ask for.”
Nance said while historic records, dating back to 1810, are being kept, more modern records are encouraged to be converted to purely electronic files.
Nance said the court has been ordered to not put any more paper records in the courthouse attic.
Commissioners said they will review the request and render an answer in a few weeks.
Dean Shipley can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 17 or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.