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Historic Documents Preservation Account Advisory Committee

Van Block Facility
April 20, 2005

Minutes

Members Present: State Librarian Kendall Wiggin, Public Records Administrator Eunice DiBella, CSL; Director, Administrative Services Richard Kingston, CSL; Grants Manager Sheila Mosman, CSL; Building Consultant Mary Louise Jensen, CSL; Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane, CSL; Karen L. Marsden, Clinton Town Clerk; Joyce P. Mascena, Glastonbury Town Clerk; Theresa Pac, Bristol Town Clerk; Carla Pomprowicz, Hebron Town Clerk; Patti Strauss, Westport Town Clerk.

Members Absent: State Archivist Mark H. Jones; Barbara Breor, Goshen Town Clerk; Sandra Hutton, Middletown Town Clerk; Catherine S. Nurmi, Sterling Town Clerk; Lisa Valenti, North Branford Town Clerk.

Others Present: LeAnn Johnson, CSL; Bruce Stark, CSL, Lizette Pelletier, Archival Consultant; Kathryn Makover, CSL; Paul Baran, CSL

I. The State Librarian called the meeting to order at 1:09 p.m.

II. The State Librarian welcomed everyone to the meeting. Because there were a number of new attendees, he asked that everyone introduce himself or herself.

III. The minutes of the January 19th meeting were approved as written.

IV. Fiscal Report: Richard Kingston submitted the fiscal report dated July 2000 through March 2005. The report now includes all encumbered funds for grants, which gives a more accurate picture of available grant funds. The town clerks were pleased with the new format.

V. Old Business

A. State Library Reports:

1. The State Librarian, formally introduced Paul Baran, the new State Government Archivist and Kathy Makover, the new Field Archivist. They each briefly explained their current activities. In lieu of in-depth oral reports, as requested by the Town Clerks, the grant staff included an executive summary of State Library preservation projects funded by the Historic Documents Preservation Program in the meeting packet.

2. The vault regulations are still on hold. Nick Artim, the consultant hired to write the draft regulations, has promised to meet with the staff in May on the 2nd revision. The Public Records Administrator informed the Town Clerks that the new regulations would include significant changes, especially regarding environmental controls.

3. Jane Cullinane has almost completed a slide show on the preservation of the 1934 state wide aerial survey photographs. If the Town Clerks are interested, she will present it at a future meeting.

4. The State Librarian distributed a copy of the new State Library informational brochure.

B. Grants

1. LeAnn has already received fifty final project/expenditure reports for the FY2005 grants. Town Clerks are reminded that all FY2005 projects must be completed by June 30th.

2. LeAnn distributed the list of towns that have applied for FY2006 Cycle 1. There are currently 51 applicants. This is substantially down from this time last year. The Town Clerks suggested reasons for this might include that Cycle 1 occurs at the same time as the municipal budget process and Town Clerks may not want the Board of Selectman or the equivalent body to confuse the grant request with the budget request. Also, the grant resolution is occasionally bumped from one meeting to the next depending on the agenda.

The State Librarian mentioned that there are a number of bills before the legislature that could bring more money into the Town Clerk’s office including a farmland preservation bill that would charge an additional fee on property transfers. Currently in that bill, a town’s general fund would receive $3.00 for capital improvements and town clerks would receive $1.00 for unspecified use.

3. Competitive Grants:

a. Lizette Pelletier discussed her evaluation of the twenty-three planning surveys completed to date and the follow-up questionnaires sent to town clerks regarding their surveys in March. Based on the recommendations made by the consultants, there were seven potential competitive projects. Three could be implemented in the first round of competitive grants: development of town-wide records management programs; archival management projects such as processing of historical/permanent records to preserve and to increase access; and development of centralized inactive records storage for records not required to be kept in the vault. Four other potential projects would have to wait until the vault regulations go into effect; these include vault renovations or construction, improvements to the environmental controls, and fire and security system upgrades or installation. In the case of grants for environmental improvements, the towns would have to first complete at least one year of environmental monitoring. Jane Cullinane suggested that the State Library sponsor a workshop on environmental monitoring for the Town Clerks. The staff will investigate this for the fall workshop.

b. Eleven town clerks responded to the follow-up questionnaire. Of the eleven towns, three are considering projects that would fall within the initial eligible categories as described in the planning survey analysis; three others were considering environmental upgrade projects. The remaining five towns either had no plans or were uncertain about a potential project. All had recommendations in their survey reports that could be worked into a competitive application, so the staff would be able to help them design an eligible project for consideration. Lizette Pelletier will contact the twelve towns that did not respond to the questionnaire to get their responses.

c. The staff presented a draft outline of the competitive grant program. The outline included the possible application and award time frames; grant amounts, program scope, eligibility, types of projects, and the grant review process. Pilot projects that attempt new ways of addressing problems will be of special interest. Members of the State Historical Records Advisory Board, which reviews grants for the National Historical Records and Publications Commission’s historical records grant program, have expressed a willingness to serve as independent reviewers. The Town Clerks were pleased with this initial outline. The staff will continue developing the criteria as well as the application and review forms over the summer.

C. Workshops

1. Arrangements have been made for the spring workshop on June 14th to be held at the ITBD Conference Center in New Britain. Dr. Mark Langemo will speak on "Winning Strategies for Successful Municipal Records Management Programs." 150 seats will be available for the workshop. The registration and information brochure will be mailed out next week.

2. Mandatory competitive grant training will be offered in January 2006 for any interested applicants. Targeted grant training might be offered in late summer, if necessary.

D. Committee Membership

1. Joan Gerdsen officially turned over representation of Tolland County to Carla Pomprowicz. A replacement representative is needed for both Litchfield and New London Counties.

2. The staff will be reviewing past minutes for the attendance requirement established by the committee. While the Public Records Administrator realizes that the Town Clerks have many responsibilities and little time for additional duties, it is very important that there be full representation at each meeting. Any Town Clerk that fails to regularly attend meetings or send a substitute will be replaced.

E. The State Librarian returned to the issue of population categories. He would like to further investigate the possibility of establishing one or two additional categories for FY2007. For example, the towns could be split so that there would be grants of $7,000, $9,000, $11,000 and $13,000 and $17,000. He did not want anyone to loose money. Because not every town applies each year, there is some leeway. He would like the staff to review the population figures and find natural breaks that would prevent towns from sitting on an artificial cut off line.

VI. There was no new business.

VII. The State Librarian adjourned the meeting at 2:40 p.m.

VIII. The next meeting is scheduled for October 19, 2005 at the Van Block Facility.

Respectfully submitted,

Lizette Pelletier, Recorder

April 20, 2005

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