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Historic Documents Preservation Account Advisory Committee

Middletown Library Service Center
May 16, 2001


Members Present
Public Records Administrator Eunice DiBella, CSL; Richard Kingston, CSL, State Archivist Mark Jones, CSL; Ed Friedeberg, Glastonbury Town Clerk; Sandra Hutton, Middletown Town Clerk, Therese Pac, Bristol Town and City Clerk; Karen Lee Marsden, Clinton Town Clerk; Joan Gerdsen, Mansfield Town Clerk/President Town Clerk's Association; Lisa A Valenti, North Branford Town Clerk; Patricia H. Strauss, Westport Town Clerk; Building Consultant Mary Louise Jensen, CSL; Joyce P. Mascena, Vernon Town Clerk; Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane, CSL.

Members Absent
State Librarian Kendall Wiggin, CSL; Barbara Tarbox, Groton Town Clerk; Barbara Allen, Goshen Town Clerk; Mollie Keller, Bridgeport City Archivist/State Library Board Member.

Others Present
Lizette Pelletier, Archival Consultant, Grants Manager Sheila K. Mosman, CSL.

  1. Public Records Administrator Eunice DiBella called the meeting to order at 1:15 p.m.

  2. The State Librarian was attending a meeting in New York City, so the Public Records Administrator welcomed the board members to the meeting.

  3. The Public Records Administrator introduced Sandra Hutton, Middletown Town Clerk who will be representing the new President of the Town Clerks Association, Beverly Brown.

  4. The minutes of March 28, 2001 were approved with minor corrections.

  5. State Library Fiscal Officer Richard Kingston handed out a report documenting the monthly revenue since August, 2000. The town clerks have filed reports for 520,428 documents. There is currently $1,039,990 in the account with $15,767 in interest. There is $735,315 available for re-grants.

  6. Old Business

    1. Basic Preservation workshop

      1. There are 83 registrants to date. There are 115 available slots. The Public Records Administrator is allowing some towns to register two individuals with the understanding that the second individual might be bumped if necessary. Board members are asked to review the list and contact regional members who have not registered and encourage their participation.

      2. Two clerks will assist with registration. They will arrive at the workshop at 8:15am. The sign up sheets will be forwarded to Patty Ulatowski, Stratford Town Clerk, and IIMC liaison, to validate continuing education requirements. The Public Records Office staff will hand out the certificates at the end of the workshop.

    2. First Cycle Grant Applications

      1. The Public Records Administrator distributed a list of grant applicants. The office received one hundred and five applications. There were eight requests to fund preservation surveys and one for disaster recovery. The remaining requests were for paper preservation.

      2. Based on problems uncovered with this first round of applications, the staff will revise the application form for the next cycle.

      3. The Public Records Administrator is working closely with the towns to overcome any difficulties so that no applicant is rejected in these first two rounds for technical reasons. The Office will contact the remaining 60 towns, which did not submit a request, to encourage their participation in the second cycle in December.

      4. The Public Records Administrator expressed concern about some projects' time frame and whether some will be completed on time especially those in the second cycle given the legislative mandate to file a report by September 1st of the following fiscal year. This would leave some projects with only nine months to complete the work. If the work were not completed on time, the applicant would have to return the money. The Public Records Administrator spoke with the Assistant Attorney General for the State Library about this matter. The future regulations might be used to address this. The committee discussed potential problems and solutions including amended budgets to address unspent monies. The committee members stated that experienced town clerk's should serve as mentors to newly elected or appointed individuals.

      5. Archival Consultant Lizette Pelletier will make a presentation on the grant application process at the fall Town Clerks Conference.

      6. The Office of the Public Records Administrator will accept second cycle applications now.

    3. The Public Records Administrator reviewed the updated vendor list. Some vendors not on the list have been "conditionally" approved for projects already in progress. If towns have a vendor they would like to use that is not on the list, please let the office know, prior to submitting an application. The PRA hopes to post it on the web page in the future, but she wants to avoid the appearance of advertising.

    4. The Public Records Grant Specialist position has been posted internally.

  7. New Business.

    1. The Public Records Administrator has scheduled a workshop for October 10, 2001 on reformatting records that will focus on primarily on microfilming standards. This will be a prerequisite for the microfilming grants that will probably be added in the third cycle. The location is to be arranged. Everyone agreed that a central location is in everyone's best interests.

    2. New Grant Categories

      1. The staff distributed a list of possible future grant categories for future consideration by the committee. The Public Records Administrator asked the committee members to review the list and come to the next meeting with any suggestions, additions or changes. She suggested adding records management surveys and inventories to the list. Fire suppression systems are very expensive and may beyond the fund's capability.

      2. Equipment purchases are a future option. Towns may want to consider forming a purchasing consortium.

    3. Vendor Contracts for Grant Work

      1. Towns may not contract with vendors until the State Library officially makes the award. The grant contract will not be in effect until August 1st. The award letter will restate this point.

      2. Town must make sure to have a contract with the vendors guaranteeing the scope and time frame of the grant work. A vendor contract is extremely important to ensure that the vendor meets quality control specifications.

      3. The staff will work with the towns to develop a sample generic form similar the "forms of work" used by the Federal libraries program. Jane Cullinane will provide copies to the staff.

    4. Other

      1. Grant Program Publicity

        1. The staff will be developing a letter/press release for grant recipients to use with their local papers.

        2. The committee suggested that the legislators from the recipient's districts should receive a copy of the award letter.

        3. Significant publicity should accompany the first grant awards for this program. The Department of Environmental Protection and the Arts Commission both have award ceremonies. The committee and the State Library should host an event that includes municipal CEOs, legislators and the press. A photographer should be present.

      2. The Public Records Administrator hopes to use a portion of the fund reserved for the State Library toward rewriting the vault regulations.

      3. The Town Clerks Association website will be up soon as another line of communication between the committee and the clerks.

  8. The meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lizette Pelletier, Recorder
May 18, 2001