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S.A.R.A. GRANT


Your tax dollars at work!
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We are excited to show you how we saved the past and put the future on-line

S.A.R.A. Grant
State Archives and Records Administration Grants

As long as you are going to the tree anyway, it is much easier to pick an apple a day than it is to find time to rake up 365 rotting apples at the end of the year.

. . . the goals of this Records Inventory and Planning Project

 

  • Identify the records created and maintained by the Otsego County Treasurer’s Office, and determine their location, volume, type, organization, and growth
  • Record data collected on Inventory Worksheets in PDF file format
  • Purge inactive storage areas of accumulated obsolete records
  • Purge active records areas of accumulated obsolete records
  • Re-box, re-label, and destroy-date as needed records retained in inactive storage areas
  • Configure inactive records storage rooms for new steel shelving
  • Create a spreadsheet-based Index of Inactive Records
  • Prepare a Needs Assessment Report v

After the initiation of the LGRMIF-funded Records Inventory Project, the County elected to invest its own funds to expand the original parameters of the project to include:

  • The purchase and installation of ten new 42”x32”x77” steel shelf units for the Lower Level Vault (LLV), and five 42”x16”x77” steel shelf units for Vault A (VA) in the Treasurer’s active office area. These shelf units were configured for the use of standard 1-cubic-foot records storage boxes.
  • The purchase of an electronic label printer
  • Removal of archaic “pigeonhole file drawer” cabinets in Vault A
  • Removal of archaic steel cabinets, old “Pronto” stackable file boxes, and check file drawer cabinets in the Lower Level Vault
  • Comprehensive re-boxing, indexing, labeling, destroy-dating of all records stored in Vault A and in the Lower Level Vault
  • Staff training and support to accommodate the use of the new filing and storage media v

 

Project Statistics Cubic Feet Per Cent of Total

  • Area Total: 2,078.56 100%
  • Inventory Total: 2,078.56 100%
  • Active Records: 620.62 30%
  • Inactive Records: 637.00 31%
  • Vital Records: 132.00 6%
  • Archival Records: 373.50 18%
  • Moved to Inactive: 137.00 7%
  • Conservation Records: 0 0%
  • Cubic Feet Microfilm 25.00 1%
  • Destroyed Records: 820.94 39%
  • Annual Accumulation of All Records: 58.00 Cubic Feet per Year
  • Annual Accumulation of Permanent Records: 12.50 Cubic Feet per Year ~~

 

Global Recommendations for Active Records

  • County of Otsego active office records were purged of obsolete records during the course of the project.
  • Office suport staff were encouraged to adopt their own disciplines regarding the timely disposition of obsolete records, as well as to limit the unnecessary creation an duplication of records.
  • Special effort was taken to familiarize Treasurer's Office support staff with the existence and use of the SARA CO-2 Retention Schedule to help determine retention periods, and as a guide to the creation of future filing strategies. 

 

… obsolete materials were purged and destroyed

SARA1
Before

SARA2
After

During the course of the Inventory and Planning Project, additional County funding permitted Vault A (VA) in the Staff Support Area to be updated. Archaic “pigeonhole file drawer” cabinets were removed, and five 42”x16”x”77” steel shelf units configured for the use of standard one cubic-foot records storage boxes were installed in their place. All records maintained in the Treasurer’s Office were inventoried. Obsolete materials were purged and subsequently destroyed by the County. Inactive significant records compiled by previous administrations were boxed, labeled, indexed, destroy-dated, and moved to the Lower Level Vault (LLV)

A unique opportunity to review its past
practices, discard policies and habits which no longer serve

As is to be expected, the Otsego County Treasurer’s Office is a constantly evolving entity consisting of elements crafted in antiquity, as well as policies and programs awaiting development and implementation. How these layers of administrative problem-solving interact with one another determines the character of the Treasurer’s Office, and include such things as the pendulum swing of local politics, the evolution of accounting practices, the introduction of new technologies (and the abandonment of the old), and the biggest, most subtle influence of all: the architecture of the County Office Building itself.

At the time of the Inventory and Planning Project, the County Treasurer’s Office had recently undergone a significant overhaul of its procedures and policies. New computers and software had been introduced to replace typewriters and other antiquated accounting hardware, and new fiscal management software was under development as well.

This state of flux provides the County Treasurer’s Office a unique opportunity to review its past practices, discard policies and habits which no longer serve, and establish policies which will serve the County far into the future.

It is always best to define a Functional Filing block by matching the record you hope to file with a record series

Examples of generalized Functional Filing blocks include,
but are not limited to:

  • Annual Audits (one archival copy per year)
  • Annual Budgets (one archival copy per year)
  • Annual Financial Reports (one archival copy per year)
  • Correspondence
  • Estate Settlement Fiscal Records
  • Legal Agreements
  • Grant Files
  • Bond Issue Preparation and Documentation
  • Insurance
  • Legal Case Files
  • Taxation Collection Records
  • Tax Sale Records
  • Tax Search Records
  • Payroll Register (55-yr copy)
  • Fiscal Records with a specific function (e.g. canceled checks, vouchers)


Movement from the active to inactive areas is streamlined

SARA3
BEFORE

 

SARA4
AFTER

 

 

To those who played a large part in our receiving and implementing our Grant

Thank You
Dr. Suzanne Etherington ~ Regional Advisor
NYS Archives & Records Administration
Betty Anne Schwerd ~ Otsego County Representative

Alden Stevens . . . a standing ovation goes to Alden, who worked for 6 months to organize, purge, re-box and map our archives which are accessible with only a glance at a map he created as a reference to the files stored in the vaults.