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Historic Documents Preservation Account Advisory Committee

Middletown Library Service Center
July 16, 2003


Members present: State Librarian Kendall Wiggin, CSL; Public Records Administrator Eunice DiBella, CSL; State Archivist Mark Jones, CSL, Building Consultant Mary Louise Jensen, CSL; Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane, CSL; Director Administrative Services Richard Kingston, CSL; Grants Manager Sheila K. Mosman, CSL; Therese Pac, Bristol Town and City Clerk; Joyce P. Mascena, Glastonbury Town Clerk; Catherine S. Nurmi, Sterling Town Clerk.

Members absent: Barbara Breor, Goshen Town Clerk; Cynthia Ladwig, Stonington Town Clerk; Lisa A Valenti, North Branford Town Clerk; Karen Lee Marsden, Clinton Town Clerk; Sandra Hutton, Middletown Town Clerk/Representative Town Clerks' Association; Patricia H. Strauss, Westport Town Clerk; Joan Gerdsen, Mansfield Town Clerk.

Others present: Bruce Stark, Assistant State Archivist; Betsy M. Barrett, Lisbon Town Clerk; Public Records Grant Program Specialist LeAnn Johnson, CSL; Archival Consultant Lizette Pelletier, CSL.

I. The State Librarian called the meeting to order at 1:16 p.m.

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

III. There were no introductions.

IV. The minutes of May 21, 2003 were approved with minor corrections.

V. Fiscal Report

A. The State is operating under Executive Order. The State Library is able to pay staff and last year's bills, thus maintaining the status quo. OPM has approved the State Library's ERIP plan and given approval to rehire 2 FTE positions, including the agency's Personnel Officer. Currently, the State Library has 23 fewer FTE positions than prior to the layoffs. The State Librarian commends the staff for coping under these difficult circumstances.

B. Richard Kingston passed out a budget fact sheet. Receipts continue to come in at 25% over last year. The State Library received $203,180 last month. Four of the last six months' receipts have exceeded $200,000. The town clerks reported that many towns have tripled their receipts from the same period three years ago when they began collecting the fees. They expect a sudden drop as soon as the Federal Reserve raises its interest rate.

VI. Old Business

A. Workshops and Training

1. Seventy individuals attended the June 11th workshop. Participant evaluations were extremely positive. The staff hopes to be able to bring Dr. Mark Langemo back for another workshop in the future.

2. Due to the amount of planning and preparation required for a wet materials workshop, the staff has decided to postpone the session until next spring. The committee decided that March would probably be the best month.

B. State Library Projects

1. Scanning of the mosaic maps for the 1934 Fairchild aerial survey of Connecticut is complete. Patrick McGlannery, the map librarian from UConn, is geo-referencing the individual images and hopes to complete the process by September despite some difficulty matching images to locations. Jane Cullinane will explore the possibility of having him come to a future meeting to demonstrate the system. She is also writing the specifications for duplicating the individual images to create new high quality negatives.

2. The State Library was able to negotiate with OPM a reassignment of Bruce Stark, Assistant State Archivist, from the iConn project back to the State Archives using the State Library's grant program funding. He will work on the local government records continuing Barbara Austen's work plan. He is finishing processing the records from the town of Hartland. If the State Library is able to rehire the durational staff for the NHPRC Court Records project, he will also assist there. He and the State Archivist met with NHPRC staff at the NAGARA meeting in Providence, RI. NHPRC has been able to protect the grant funds so far. The State Librarian hopes to reinstate the staff by the end of summer so the Library doesn't loose the funds.

3. OPM returned the PSA (Personal Service Agreement) renewal request for the editor of the Records of the State of Connecticut due to the budget crisis. They are only renewing or approving contracts for those projects that OPM deems essential and important. The Public Records Administrator would like to hire a fire safety engineer to assist with updating vault regulations, but has been advised to delay submitting the PSA until the budget situation is resolved.

C. Grants.

1. FY 2003 Grants: Fifty-six towns out of 108 have submitted their Final Expenditure/Evaluation Reports. These are due by September 1, 2003.

2. FY 2004 Grants: The State Library awarded $1,098,300 to 132 towns. The grant letters went out July 10th. Despite some concern about the new Core-CT system, the funds should be available to the State Library next week and the checks or transfers should occur shortly thereafter. LeAnn hopes to get the remaining 37 towns to apply in the 2nd cycle. She already has one application.

3. LeAnn requested that the Town Clerk's Association notify the staff of any new town clerks who take office in between elections due to retirement or other reasons so that she can send a grant program information packet to the new clerk.

4. The Public Records Administrator reported that the Assistant Attorney General for the State Library has no objection to continuing resolutions as long as the Town Clerk certifies that the authority is still in effect. The staff will draft more specific language for the next set of guidelines.

D. The committee still needs a representative from a large city and Tolland County. The town clerks will address this issue at their Executive Board meeting at the end of the month. The staff is looking at the meeting schedule to find a way to reduce the number of meetings.

VIII. New Business

A. Town Clerk Local Fund Reports.

1. Forty-eight towns have replied to a staff request for information on how they have spent their portion of the fee collected. Lizette Pelletier distributed a printout showing that the town clerks have applied their funds to a variety of projects. Some towns supplemented their grants. Many used the funds to purchase equipment to house newly reformatted records or to meet the new statute requiring veteran's records to be locked at all times. Some towns are improving access to their records by creating new indexes or recreating older ones. A few towns continue to save money toward larger future projects.

2. Six towns reported that they are having difficulty accessing their locally retained funds. This is not unexpected given the current financial situation. Most of the fiscal officers involved have told the town clerks that the funds are included in their budget lines without a concurrent increase in the funds allotted. Sheila Mosman said that the Library Grant program has had similar problems. The Public Records Administrator is working with the town clerks to resolve the issue. Lizette will send out a follow-up email to identify other towns that might also be having problems.

B. There was no other new business.

IX. The next meeting is September 24, 2003 at 12:30 p.m. at the Middletown Library Service Center.

X. The meeting adjourned at 2:18 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lizette Pelletier, Recorder

July 16, 2003