Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
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Historic Documents Preservation Account Advisory Committee
Van Block Facility
November 10, 2009
Members Present: State Librarian Kendall Wiggin, CSL; Public Records Administrator LeAnn Power, CSL; Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane, CSL; Nancy Bray, Colchester Town Clerk; Joyce P. Mascena, Glastonbury Town Clerk; Therese Pac, Bristol Town Clerk; Ginger Salisbury, Southbury Town Clerk; Antoinette Spinelli, Waterbury City Clerk; Louisa Trakas, Plainfield Town Clerk; and Sandi Wieleba, East Hampton Town Clerk.
Members Absent: Building Consultant Mary Louise Jensen, CSL; State Archivist Mark H. Jones, CSL; Carla Pomprowicz, Hebron Town Clerk; Joseph Quartiero, Torrington Town Clerk; Patty Strauss, Westport Town Clerk; and Lisa Valenti, North Branford Town Clerk.
Others Present: Carol Anderson, Assistant Town Clerk, Torrington; Public Records Archivist Lizette Pelletier, CSL; Field Archivist Kathy Makover, CSL
I. The State Librarian called the meeting to order at 1:10 p.m.
II. The members reviewed the minutes of the July 22, 2009 meeting. Jane Cullinane made a motion to approve as written. Chic Spinelli seconded the motion. The motion passed with Virginia Salisbury, Louisa Trakas, and Sandi Wieleba abstaining as they were not at the last meeting.
III. The State Librarian introduced Carol Anderson, the Assistant Town Clerk from Torrington who was attending for Joe Quartiero.
The State Librarian discussed the current budget situation at the State Library. The governor has ordered a 5% budget cut for all state agencies. This is in addition to the holdbacks on most funds that amount to about 25% of the agency’s budget. He does not expect that the holdbacks will be restored in the future.
He announced to the committee that LeAnn Power has been promoted to Public Records Administrator. Eunice DiBella has completed her special contract work for the Real Estate Electronic Recording Committee. The State Library was also able to replace the Assistant State Archivist and an archivist position.
IV. Fiscal Report
A. Terri Consoli, Fiscal Services Supervisor, was not able to attend the meeting. The State Librarian stated that the prospects for the fund are appearing positive. All pending grants for FY2010 have been awarded. The staff is processing payments as the fund balance permits. Kathy Makover reviewed a new report designed to track fees by the date they are received in the towns rather than the date they are received at the library’s fiscal office. This new report better indicates the actual housing trends, which seem to be showing a slight trend upwards. The reason that the fiscal report may not reflect the actual filing trends is that receipts are not due at the fiscal office until the 15th of the following month. In addition, some towns may be late in filing while others may be submitting several months’ fees at once. Therefore, the monthly fiscal office receipts and the year to year comparisons may not reflect actual trends regarding monthly filings within the towns. The library does follow-up with towns that are behind in their filings. The only compliance tool available to the staff is to withhold a grant payment until a town is up to date with its filings. One town is currently in this situation.
B. The staff prepared a number of funding options for the FY2011 grants. The Fiscal Office is comfortable that there will be sufficient funds for Option 4 which is $3,000, $6,000 and $9,000, for small, medium and large towns, respectively. There will be two application cycles, but the staff will strongly encourage everyone to apply in Cycle 1. These amounts are higher than the amounts offered in the first year of the grant program. The town clerks asked how the library can protect these funds. The State Librarian stated that both the library and the Town Clerks Association must closely monitor any legislative developments more so than in the past. The attorney general’s office is looking into other funds that were taken, so the town clerks might contact that office to look into this fund as well.
V. Old Business
1. FY2010 Grants: Eighty-four of 94 applications have been processed. The remaining 10 will be processed shortly. One town is currently ineligible to receive a payment until it is up to date on its filings.
2. FY2011 Grants: There will be no competitive grants until there is a sufficient balance in the fund.
B. Workshops & Training:
1. The next workshop will be December 4, 2009 in conjunction with the Connecticut Certified Municipal Clerk Institute. Kathy thanked Therese Pac for all her assistance. The topic will be microfilming and digitization as requested by town clerks at an earlier advisory committee meeting. Donia Conn from NEDCC will be the instructor. Registration is at the Town Clerks Association website. There is sufficient room so that more than one person from a town may attend.
2. The grant staff would like to hold a half day grant training session on Wednesday, January 13th. The session would review any contract issues and program changes. The staff will check with the Town Clerks Association to ensure that the date doesn’t conflict with new town clerks’ orientation program that is usually held in January.
C. Map Regulations: The staff distributed the current proposed definitions of “map” and “plan” that the map advisory committee has developed. The final definitions will be submitted to the State Library’s assistant attorney general to determine if they answer the Regulation Review Committee’s concerns. Joyce Mascena said the question remains as to when a “map” is required or when another type of attachment would be acceptable. This may require a statutory change. The town clerks may need to determine the best practices in this situation and have the statutes changed to reflect those practices, since not every clerk handles filings in the same way at this time.
D. Real Property Electronic Recording Committee: The committee will hold its first meeting this Thursday, November 12, at 10:00 a.m. at the Legislative Office Building. A webpage will be available soon. SimpleFile will demonstrate a sample system. The committee membership, which is set by statute, does not have a technology representative. The committee must establish regulations to enable towns to accept e-filing; although towns will not be required to do so. The committee may be able to address some map questions.
E. No other old business.
VI. New Business
A. The State Librarian reported that the library is working with the Probate Court Administrator regarding the court consolidation and its effect on probate records. There are many issues regarding the records including who will administer the records, where they will be located, and which type of materials should be retained (i.e., volumes, estate papers). Some districts have established a completely electronic process. Library staff will be meeting on Friday to review a proposal by the Court. The State Library will need to set standards for the care of the records.
B. Ginger Salisbury asked about revisions to the vault regulations. This is very complex issue on which the staff is working. Currently, the staff consults current NFPA standards in addition to the current regulations.
C. The committee needs to set up a meeting schedule for next year. LeAnn will check with the Town Clerks calendar to find dates in March, July and October.
VII. Therese Pac made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Ginger Salisbury seconded the motion. The State Librarian adjourned the meeting at 2:00 p.m.
VIII. The next meeting is scheduled for a date to be determined in March, at 1 p.m. at the Van Block Facility. Everyone is welcomed to share a brown bag lunch prior to the meeting.
Lizette Pelletier, Recorder
November 10, 2009