County okays ARPA monies for scanning of documents

    COUNTY – Shelby County has authorized ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds to pay for an imaging effort that will allow Shelby County Recorder documents to be available for public search online.
    The county last month approved a bid from Cott Systems – Records Management Solutions of Ohio at a cost of approximately $148,000, with a $3,000 annual maintenance fee.
    Funds for the project have been earmarked from the federal ARPA dollars the county has received, and the project will get under way soon, taking roughly four months to complete.
    Shelby County Recorder Geralyn Greer said when finished, constituents will have electronic access to records at their fingertips.  Historical books will be digitized and coded using search logic to create a simple public online search process.
    Convenient public remote access will be available through a link on the county’s website.
    “Today, the public, professional title searchers, surveyors, genealogists and others must come to the county Recorder’s office in a confined space to physically touch and look through books,” Greer said.
    With an online searchable database office traffic could be reduced, which is especially convenient and safe during a pandemic, she said.
    “People can search our records without having to come into the office,” Greer said.
    Recorder office staff has spent the past three years scanning documents in preparation for developing an online database of imaged documents.  Scanning in-house saved the county roughly $150,000 in additional costs should the scanning portion of the project have been handled by the imaging firm as well.
    The only items that won’t be able to be searched online are births, deaths, marriage licenses and military documents.
    “I’m excited that we’re actually able to do this,” said supervisor chairman Steve Kenkel, as the ARPA funds are allowing the county to prioritize and authorize projects that maybe couldn’t have been done in the past due to financial constraints.

 

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