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Historic Documents Preservation Account Advisory Committee

Middletown Library Service Center
May 29, 2002

Minutes

Members Present
Barbara Tarbox, Groton Town Clerk; Richard Kingston, CSL; Joan Gerdsen, Mansfield Town Clerk; Lisa A Valenti, North Branford Town Clerk; Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane, CSL; Patricia H. Strauss, Westport Town Clerk, Grants Consultant Mary Louise Jensen, CSL; Grants Manager Sheila K. Mosman, CSL; State Archivist Mark Jones, CSL; Public Records Administrator Eunice DiBella, CSL; Joyce P. Mascena, Vernon Town Clerk; Therese Pac, Bristol Town and City Clerk; Catherine S. Nurmi, Sterling Town Clerk; Ed Friedeberg, Glastonbury Town Clerk; Sandra Hutton, Middletown Town Clerk/Representative Town Clerks' Association; Karen Lee Marsden, Clinton Town Clerk.

Members Absent
Barbara Allen, Goshen Town Clerk; Betsy M. Barrett, Lisbon Town Clerk; State Librarian Kendall Wiggin, CSL.

Others Present
Lizette Pelletier, Archival Consultant; LeAnn Johnson, Public Records Grant Specialist.

  1. The Public Records Administrator called the meeting to order at 1:07 p.m.

  2. The Public Records Administrator welcomed the board members to the meeting. The State Librarian could not attend due to other commitments.

  3. There were no introductions.

  4. The minutes of January 30, 2002 were approved as submitted.

  5. State Library Fiscal Officer Richard Kingston distributed a current fiscal report. Account receipts equal $2.6 million and expenditures equal $531,494 for a current balance of $2.1 million. Deposit activity is up 15.9% from this time last year. The staff hopes to give out $1 million with this year's 2 grant cycles.

  6. Old Business

    1. Workshops

      1. The June 11th workshop is all set. The Public Records Administrator expressed her disappointment that there were only 50 registrants to date. The Town Clerks said that this is budget time and it is difficult to get away. The Public Records Administrator will open registration up to other town records custodians such as the tax assessors or a second staff member if there are enough spaces available.

      2. The fall security workshop subcommittee was unable to meet. They will meet June 26th or 27th at 10:00 am. The Public Records Administrator will notify the members of the exact date and location. The workshop should address different levels and aspects of security including procedures and equipment. The target dates for the workshop are October 22nd or 23rd.

    2. State Library Projects

      1. The State Archives has hired Barbara Austen as the Local Government Archivist. She currently is the Archivist for the Governor William O'Neill papers project. She will begin her new duties on July 12th. She will begin by assessing the condition of the local government records collection at the State Library and then process the records to improve public access. Later this summer the State Archivist hopes to begin working with the City of Hartford towards transferring records to the State Library. The Local Government Archivist will also be available to the town clerks for assistance in developing grant projects.

      2. The editor for "Connecticut State Records" has been called to Federal Grand Jury duty for the next 18 months. He is developing a revised work plan. The State Library plans to recoup fund monies through sales of the volumes.

      3. The State Library has awarded the Historic Preservation Grant Program poster project bid to Cummings and Good. They will develop the poster design over the summer. It will be available for display at town halls, libraries, legislator's office and other appropriate venues.

    3. Betsy Barrett was unable to attend the meeting and is still working to develop a cooperative town training grant project.

    4. The grant program received 109 applications for the first cycle which is six more than last year. The total amount requested is $699,255.00. Most grants were for paper conservation. There will be a simple reception at the Van Block facility at the end of July to distribute the grant checks.

    5. NEDCC may not send out the final preservation survey reports in time for the grant deadline for six to nine towns. The staff asked the Public Records Administrator if NEDCC can bill before the towns actually receive the final product. After much discussion, the committee decided that the Public Records Administrator will tell NEDCC to bill the towns and each town will decide how to handle payment so that they are in compliance with the contract. The Public Records Administrator will ask the Attorney General's office whether or not she can grant extensions and how to adjust the grant contract.

  7. New Business.

    1. Eligible Grant Expenses

      1. One town that applied for a grant wanted to use the money to pay its own employees overtime to complete the project. The Public Records Administrator denied the request and asked the town to submit a new application. She asked the committee for advice on this issue. Although there are situations where the town employees would be the most qualified to complete the project, there are Federal labor law and collective bargaining issues that must be considered. The Public Records Administrator will consult with the Attorney General's office on this issue also.

      2. The Public Records Administrator has authorized the purchase of map cabinets because they are available in the Gaylord catalogue of archival supplies. She requested that the committee members think of small equipment items that will be eligible expenses for next year's grants. This will allow grantees to expend more money and may encourage non-participating towns to make an application if they are unable to develop any other project. A small number of towns wanted to split their money between categories. However, it is much more difficult to evaluate the grant application. A possibility to consider would be to allow a town to apply twice a year submitting one grant each cycle as long as the total did not exceed the total grant amount allowed for the year. The committee will explore this further at its next meeting.

    2. LeAnn Johnson will contact the non-participating towns to encourage them to submit a grant in the second cycle. The committee members will help by contacting towns in their county.

    3. Other

      1. The Public Records Administrator received a complaint from a former town employee that a town was not spending the grant money on the grant project. She will investigate.

      2. The Public Records Administrator discussed the history and implications of P.A. 02-137, " An Act Concerning the Confidentiality and Retention of Military Discharge Documents, ...The Electronic Scanning of Public Records, ...".

  8. The next meeting is July 24, 2002 at 12:30 p.m. at the Van Block Facility.

  9. The meeting adjourned at 3:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lizette Pelletier, Recorder
May 29, 2002

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