WARREN -- The Trumbull County recorder is returning $289,524 to the county's general fund, money which had been earmarked for computerizing her department.
The money was collected between 1993 and 1996 from a $4 fee built into the cost of recording documents such as deeds and mortgages.
The recorder's department spent only about a third of the money it collected.
"We spend money as we need to spend it," said Diana Marchese, the county recorder. "I don't believe in spending money because it is in your budget."
It costs $14 to record a two-page document, with most of the money going into a bank account that pays for general county expenses.
In 1993, the state Legislature approved a measure to allow between $1 and $4 of the recording fee to be kept by county recorders for an equipment fund.
Since 1996, the recorder has collected money in this fund at a rate of $3 per page, about $133,000 last year, Marchese said.