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Historic Documents Preservation Account Advisory Committee

Middletown Library Service Center
November 28, 2001

Minutes

Members Present
Richard Kingston, CSL; Barbara Tarbox, Groton Town Clerk; Ed Friedeberg, Glastonbury Town Clerk; Joan Gerdsen, Mansfield Town Clerk; Lisa A Valenti, North Branford Town Clerk; Karen Lee Marsden, Clinton Town Clerk; Barbara Allen, Goshen 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; State Librarian Kendall Wiggin, CSL; Public Records Administrator Eunice DiBella, CSL; Joyce P. Mascena, Vernon Town Clerk.

Members Absent
Therese Pac, Bristol Town and City Clerk; Sandra Hutton, Middletown Town Clerk/Representative Town Clerks' Association.

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

  1. The State Librarian called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m.

  2. The State Librarian welcomed the board members to the meeting.

  3. There were no introductions.

  4. The minutes of September 26, 2001 were approved with no corrections.

  5. State Library Fiscal Officer Richard Kingston reported that the grant fund is in excellent shape. The State Library has taken in $1.9 million and spent $382,711.00 for a current balance of $1.5 million. The average collection dropped in September and October. The town clerks said that November should be way above average due to the massive increase in re-financing. When this passes there may be a major drop in receipts. All towns are up to date with their filings within the 30-day grace period.

  6. Old Business

    1. Sixty-five people attended the Preservation Technologies Workshop on October 10th. Overall feedback was that it was an excellent presentation.

    2. The State Library will award twenty-eight grants in the second cycle. Staff distributed a list of towns who did not apply for a grant during the first year. Staff will work with the town clerks on how they can spend money if they believe that their records do not need preservation.

    3. FY 2003 Grant Cycle

      1. The Public Records Administrator has set the new categories for FY 2003 as Preservation Microfilming and Index Re-creation.

      2. After an in-depth discussion, the grant levels will be $5,000, $10,000, and $15,000. If every town applies at the full level, this will use up the current fund balance. However, some towns will not apply and not every town will apply for the maximum amount. The staff is considering placing the unused funds from each fiscal year into a pool for the competitive grants.

      3. The committee reviewed the draft of the revised grant manual that the staff will issue in February. Any comments should be sent to the staff by the end of December.

      4. The town clerks asked how the State invested the funds. Rich Kingston stated that the fund is handled through the Treasurer's Interest Credit Program.

    4. State Library projects

      1. The State Librarian and State Archivist met the State Historian and members of the Connecticut Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History (CCCPH) regarding publishing the State Records of Connecticut. Various organizations including UConn have provided funding in the past but there is no current funding. Vol. 17 1814-1815 is ready to print. This volume covers the end of the War of 1812. With a bi-centennial in the 2012, teachers and researchers will appreciate having this resource.

      2. The State Library is pursuing a 2nd year of federal money for preservation of Superior Court records. The Library will use its portion of the grant money to pay for a preservation consultant and a Library Technical Assistant.

      3. OPM has approved a position for a local government records archivist. The person in this position will process records at the State Library and be available to the Town Clerk's for technical advice. Once the State Library has completed evaluating its local government records collection and the new storage facilities become available, the State Library may resume its practice of serving as a local government repository in cooperation with the town clerks.

      4. The State Archivist has developed a presentation on the history of the State Library using the persona of former State Librarian George Godard.

      5. The State Archivist is working with a graphic artist to design a poster promoting the State Library Archival and Historic Records Preservation Programs.

    5. Betsy Barrett reported that she met with the Lisbon town accountant regarding the possibility of the town's receiving grant money to host training workshops. The town account saw no problem as long as the grant was very specific. She has yet to speak with the first selectman and town council and the town attorney. The Public Records Administrator will contact the agency's attorney general for his opinion.

    6. There was no additional old business.

  7. New Business.

    1. The committee discussed workshops for the next calendar year.

      1. The Public Records Administrator would like to hold a disaster workshop in the spring. The first two weeks in April are the most promising.

      2. Jane Cullinane will do a presentation at the spring Town Clerk conference on microfilming.

      3. In addition to Jane's presentation, the Public Records Administrator feels that it is extremely important to have a full day workshop on microfilming standards and procedures. The amount of money that the towns will be spending makes it important that the job is done properly.

      4. The town clerks would like a workshop on security issues. The towns are not addressing the problem beyond mail pickup procedures. After some discussion, the committee decided that this issue is very complicated and best handled by a panel of experts from areas such as FOI. The committee will explore this topic further at the next meeting before setting a date.

    2. Lizette Pelletier reported on the results of the Town Clerk survey. To date the staff has received eighty-seven responses. The purpose of the survey is to help improve projects, to provide suggestions to town clerks for possible projects as well as to demonstrate areas requiring further education.

    3. Sheila Mosman told the Town Clerks that all future checks would go directly to the Town Clerks. The staff will mail out additional final reporting forms because some Town Clerks did not receive them because the award letter went to the Municipal Chief Executive Officer. The final report form will also be available on the Office of the Public Records Administrator webpage.

    4. The dates for next year's meetings will continue to be the fourth Wednesday of every other month beginning in January. The only exceptions will be May 29th and November 20th. The meetings will continue to be at 1:00 p.m. with lunch at 12:30.

    5. Joan Gerdsen requested that the Public Records Administrator explore a direct representative from Windham County. Although she enjoys being on the committee, she believes that the Town Clerks from that area would be better served by one of their own.

    6. Patricia Strauss reported on the problem for a Town Clerk in her area regarding maintaining the funds in a separate account. The law only states that the money must be used for preservation of records. The Clerk in question should talk to the Government Finance Officers Association to educate its members.

    7. The next meeting is January 23, 2002 at 12:30 p.m. at the Middletown Library Service Center.

    8. The meeting adjourned at 2:38 p.m.

  8. The next meeting is January 23, 2002 at 12:30 p.m. at the Middletown Library Service Center.

  9. The meeting adjourned at 2:38 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lizette Pelletier, Recorder
November 28, 2001

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