August 15th , 2012 9:57 am Leave a comment

Preservation of Carter County records encouraged

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Editor:

The Carter County Public Records Commission will meet on Thursday, Aug. 16, at 5 p.m. in the conference room on the second floor of the courthouse. The public is invited to attend the discussion of two resolutions. One will establish a records management and archives department and the other will endorse the use of a records management fee to support the department.

The State of Tennessee encourages all counties to have an official archive to better protect public records and make them available for public inspection. Currently, about 73 Tennessee local governments have an archive (according to the Tennessee State Library and Archives). Carter County is the only county in Northeast Tennessee that does not have a records management and archives department!

Tennessee law permits counties, upon approval of the County Commissioners, to adopt a fee to fund this department. A fee of $5 is recommended for transactions in the offices of the County Clerk, the various Courts, Zoning and Highway Departments. While this money goes to the general fund, it is earmarked solely for archival supplies and services to preserve and protect records of permanent value that the State mandates be preserved.

Currently, many records are not centrally located or are housed in environmentally unfriendly facilities. Some records are very old and extremely fragile. These records are the heritage and history of Carter County and deserve adequate protection. You deserve access to these records as needed.

I would encourage the public to attend the meeting and support the formation of a records management and archives department and to approve the funding that will support the department. Preserve Carter County heritage for our use and for future generations.

-Margaret Hougland

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