MAHONING COUNTY Agency to handle microfilming

Documents will be filmed in Tiffin and shipped to the courthouse.
YOUNGSTOWN -- A state agency will help Mahoning County do away with its 20-year backlog of government records waiting to be copied onto microfilm.
County commissioners approved contracting with Ohio Industries for the Handicapped on Thursday to assist the county's microfilm department with the project.
The contract is for two years and will cost the county $410,816.
Ohio Industries for the Handicapped is a statewide program created by the governor's office to provide vocational training and job opportunities for people with severe disabilities. Microfilming is among the many services it provides.
The process: Maureen Smith, director of the county microfilm department, said boxes of county records from the courthouse and the South Side Annex on Market Street will be sent to a facility in Tiffin, where the documents will be filmed by OIH personnel.
About 50 rolls of film will then be returned to the county every two weeks for editing and storage, she said.
In December, Smith said, the department had a backlog of records back to the 1980s waiting to be filmed. The department is too shorthanded to keep up, she said. There are two clerks who work with Smith.
When the department was created in 1971, it had 25 full-time workers plus part-time help in the summer. The staff was cut several times over the years because of countywide budget shortfalls.
Smith said the department will still need to add employees to keep up with current work, though she's not sure how many are needed or when they will be hired.
Other matters: Commissioners also approved a contract with Farris & amp; Associates of Youngstown to do marketing work for the county recycling division for $95,000. The firm did the same work last year for $110,000.
The contract was originally before commissioners in April, but it was tabled because the board wanted to meet with Farris about its services before voting.
Timothy Berlekamp, the division's executive director, said the cost of the contract is about the same as it would cost the department to do its own advertising and mailings.
Commissioners also rejected a bid for renovation of the domestic relations court on the fourth floor because the lone bid received was too high.

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