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Historic Documents Preservation Account Advisory Committee

Middletown Library Service Center
July 24, 2002


Members Present
Therese Pac, Bristol Town and City Clerk; Lisa A Valenti, North Branford Town Clerk; Karen Lee Marsden, Clinton Town Clerk; Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane, CSL; Joan Gerdsen, Mansfield Town Clerk; State Archivist Mark Jones, CSL; Grants Consultant Mary Louise Jensen, CSL; Grants Manager Sheila K. Mosman, CSL; Public Records Administrator Eunice DiBella, CSL; Richard Kingston, CSL; State Librarian Kendall Wiggin, CSL; Joyce P. Mascena, Vernon Town Clerk.

Members Absent
Barbara Allen, Goshen Town Clerk; Catherine S. Nurmi, Sterling Town Clerk; Ed Friedeberg, Glastonbury Town Clerk; Patricia H. Strauss, Westport Town Clerk, Sandra Hutton, Middletown Town Clerk/Representative Town Clerks' Association.

Others Present
Betsy M. Barrett, Lisbon Town Clerk; Lizette Pelletier, Archival Consultant; Barbara Austen, Local Government Records Archivist; LeAnn Johnson, Public Records Grant Specialist.

  1. The Public Records Administrator called the meeting to order at 1:08 p.m.

  2. The Public Records Administrator welcomed the board members to the meeting. The State Librarian was delayed due to traffic.

  3. The Public Records Administrator introduced Barbara Austen the new Local Government Records Archivist at the State Library. Ms. Austen has begun a review of the CSL collection prior to processing the records. As each town's records are processed, she will provide that town with a copy of the finding aid.

  4. The minutes of May 29, 2002 were approved as submitted.

  5. State Library Fiscal Officer Richard Kingston distributed the current fiscal information. Account receipts to date are $3 million. The program has awarded $1.1 million in grants and $132,000 for other expenditures including staff salaries and workshop expenses. The current balance is $1.8 million.

  6. Old Business

    1. Workshops

      1. Sixty persons attended the June 11th workshop given by Lori Foley of NEDCC. The evaluations came back very positive. The Public Records Administrator expressed her disappointment at the low attendance.

      2. The fall security workshop subcommittee met. The workshop will be held on October 22, 2002. Stevan P. Layne, CPP, CIPM, will conduct the morning session. He has an extensive law-enforcement background and has worked with libraries and local government agencies concerning general security issues as well as technological issues. There will be a panel discussion after the lunch. The committee hopes to have a police chief, a lawyer and possibly someone from FOI on the panel.

    2. State Library Projects

      1. The State Archivist reviewed Barbara Austen's projects as the Local Government Records Archivist.

      2. Volume 17 of The Public Records of Connecticut has been printed. The State Library hopes to distribute free copies to public libraries across the state. The PSA for the project editor was held up due to the personnel freeze created by the Governor but things appear to be returning to normal. The State Archivist hopes the editor can begin working on the next two volumes by fall. This will be a three-year project.

      3. Cummings and Good will be photographing selected documents for the Grant Program poster project. The proposed design is artistically pleasing. The goal is to have the poster done by the fall Town Clerks Conference.

    3. The Public Records Administrator spoke to the Lisbon First Selectman regarding his concerns about hosting a pass through grant for a cooperative training program. The committee discussed the possibility of creating a special grant category similar to the Disaster Recovery grant that will not affect a town's eligibility to apply for a regular grant. The committee will discuss this further at the next meeting.

    4. 2003 Grant Cycles

      1. LeAnn Johnson updated the committee on the grants. A list of grantees and copy of the press release was sent to every legislator representing the grantees. The Republican caucus was very interested and asked for more information.

      2. Eligible grant expenses.

        1. A discussion on whether employee overtime is eligible was tabled to the next meeting.

        2. The committee agreed that small equipment purchases related to a grant project would be acceptable. The staff will add a new budget line to the application form.

    5. A former town employee left a phone message with the PRA that one of the towns was not spending the grant money properly. The PRA tried to reach the person but the phone was disconnected. The staff is waiting for the expenditure report from the town and will investigate if necessary.

    6. Other

      1. LeAnn Johnson distributed a copy of a letter sent to twelve towns concerning the delay in NEDCC providing the final preservation survey reports. The Attorney General's office assisted in preparing the letter. NEDCC had promised to have the reports to the towns by June 30, 2002 but some towns still do not have their reports. LeAnn will contact Lori Foley. If the problem is not resolved, the Public Records Administrator will speak directly to the Director, Anne Russell.

      2. Fifty-six persons will be attending next week's informal grant awards reception at the Van Block Facility. There will not be an afternoon presentation due to insufficient numbers. Pastries and coffee will be served.

      3. LeAnn will work with the twenty towns that have never applied for a grant. The deadline for Cycle 2 applications is September 30, 2002.

  1. New Business.

    1. Barbara Tarbox resigned from the committee. The Public Records Administrator will contact Esther B. Williams, New London County Vice President, for a nomination within the representation parameters.

    2. Grant Categories FY 2004. The committee discussed the following additional grant categories for next year. The members should think about this further for the next meeting.

      1. Security. The committee will need to develop a definition of security after the workshop in October. This could either be for staff training or eligible equipment purchases such as video surveillance cameras, mirrors or teeny beepers.

      2. Equipment. The committee discussed records storage equipment such as compact shelving, fireproof file cabinets, and map & microfilm cases as the most eligible types of equipment. The committee decided that computer equipment would not be eligible, as the towns need to be responsible for basic operational items. Furthermore, it would be difficult to assure that the computers were used for only grant related work. Staff will explore this item more thoroughly before the next meeting.

      3. Category splitting. The committee discussed allowing a town to apply for money in more than one category. The consensus was that if equipment related to records preservation were permitted that would help the towns utilize all the available funding. Equipment will be a separate budget line similar to archival supplies.

      4. Emergency Preparedness Planning. The towns could possibly hire a consultant to develop a plan and put together a supply kit.

      5. Records Management Survey. The problem with this area is the lack of qualified consultants to serve as vendors. The staff will explore further.

    3. The State Librarian would like to have the town clerks deposit copies of their historical records on microfilm with the State Library, especially anything microfilmed with grant money.

    4. Therese Pac met with a group of attorneys that included two legislators concerning PA 02-137, "An Act Concerning the Confidentiality and Retention of Military Discharge Documents, ... The Electronic Scanning of Public Records, ...". They advised her to keep doing business as usual and not allow scanners. In their opinion, the language of the bill is murky and will probably have to be settled in court again. Some of the town clerks on the board disagreed with this interpretation.

    5. The Law Revision Commission is being disbanded due to the budget cuts.

  2. The next meeting is September 25, 2002 at 12:30 p.m. at the Middletown Library Service Center.

  3. The meeting adjourned at 3:14 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lizette Pelletier, Recorder
July 24, 2002