Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
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PA 146: An Act Concerning Real Estate Filings and the Preservation of Historic Documents
On May 26, 2000, Governor John Rowland signed PA 146 into law. The following provides answers to questions about the purposes and implementation of this Public Act.
When does PA 146 go into effect?
July 1, 2000
- Restoration and conservation of land records, land record indexes, maps and other records.
- Microfilming of the above records.
- Use of information technology to facilitate the performance of duties integral to the maintenance and tracking of historic documents.
- Assessment or upgrading of records retention facilities.
- Disaster recovery.
- Training of personnel to perform duties integral to the maintenance and tracking of historic documents.
Is there to be a new fee assessed and who shall collect it?
Section 1(d) creates an additional fee of three dollars "for each document recorded in the land records of the municipality" and makes town clerks responsible for collecting it. The fee is intended for the "preservation and management of historic documents."
What do town clerks do with the three dollars collected?
Section 1(d) provides that town clerks shall remit two dollars of each fee collected no later than the fifteenth day of the month following the month of collection to the State Library. Clerks shall retain one dollar and use it for "the preservation and management of historic documents." Town Clerks should work with your finance directors to ensure the monies collected are used for the purpose intended by the law.
Does the law say anything else about the ways in which the monies
in the account forwarded to the State can be used?
Under Section 4(c), 30% of the money forwarded to the State will be allocated for the "preservation and use of historic documents" in the State Library and "the expenses of administering the historic documents preservation grant program." The remaining 70% shall become a fund for a grant program administered by the Public Records Administrators to "help municipalities to enhance or improve the preservation and management of historic documents."
Who can apply for grants and what are the procedures?
Section 5(a) states that the chief executive officer in each municipality may apply or designate the town clerk as the applicant. The application must include "a description of the purpose, objective and budget of the activities to be funded by the grant." Currently, there is no application form. Exact procedures and forms for grant applications will be worked out. Section 5(b) requires that by February 1, 2001 the Public Records Administrator shall issue "a pamphlet that describes the evaluation process for grant applications."
Shall town clerks have any input into the procedures and operation
of the grants program?
Section 7 instructs the State Librarian to adopt regulations to implement the grant program. The State Librarian shall create an advisory committee "on the development and implementation of regulations." The committee shall include representatives from small, medium, and large municipalities from all geographic regions of the state. Sections 4(a), 5(a), and 5(c) mandate that the Public Records Administrator shall establish and administer the grants program and shall "authorize grant awards on or before July thirty-first and December thirty-first of each fiscal year." Section 5(b) states that the Administrator shall consult with the State Archivist in making grant award decisions and any other persons or groups that he/she deems necessary.
Are all documents that are recorded subject to the new fee?
No. On June 19, 2000 the legislature amended the Public Act to clarify this point. "The provisions...shall not apply to any document recorded on the land records by an employee of the state or of a municipality in conjunction with said employee's official duties." This exempts municipal and state liens from the provisions of this act.