MALONE - Franklin County legislators approved a plan that will give south-end county residents easier access to records from the clerk's office, for a fee.
The company the county uses to put its records onto the computer, Info Quick Solutions Inc., offers a service that will make records available to users online, Deputy Clerk Kip Cassavaw told county legislators last week.
The county and IQS will split the revenue from the service 40/60 until it brings in $20,000; then the county's cut increases to 80 percent. All of the county's share is set to be used "for the improvement of the records and added availability to more on the web," county Clerk Wanda Murtagh wrote in a letter to legislators. Murtagh couldn't be at the meeting last week.
"By putting this amount back into back-scanning and digitization of our old records to be available on the web, this will be a win-win for everyone," Murtagh wrote.
She proposed in the letter that customers pay $300 quarterly for the service. For that fee, someone could access online all of the documents the county has digitized.
Cassavaw said most counties in the state offer some sort of online record access, to differing degrees. He said they looked at the amount other counties charge, and the proposed $300 is about the middle ground.
He said Franklin County has been reluctant and slow to start doing so "because we don't want to put too much out there to the public," but he said the clerk's office sees this move as a positive one.
"We think it's a good thing for the general public," Cassavaw said. "It's really going to be a plus to the southern end of the county."
"That's terrific," said Legislator Tim Burpoe, one of the county's two legislators who represents the south end.
The county is in the third year of a five-year contract with IQS.
County Attorney Jonathan Miller reviewed an addendum to the county's contract with IQS and approved it, Murtagh wrote.
Legislator Paul Maroun, the other south-end legislator, said the fee will mean the likely users will be lawyers, Realtors and other people who would need regular access to the records.
"This is a much-needed service, since these records are in high demand not only in Franklin County but throughout the United States, since much of our work today is with various attorneys, banks and mortgage companies nationwide," Murtagh wrote.
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