"The archive committee is hoping to generate $18 to $20,000 to get started with an archiving office," said Commissioner William Mallard, chairman of the budget committee. "If we're going to comply with the law we have to get started."
The budget committee began with a tour of several county offices, which contain stored archive files in basement areas. Clerk and Master Steve Walker, chairman of the archive committee, led the tour, explaining where files were located and the importance to remove them from their current locations and bring them under one central location.
"The most important thing to remember is that the two things that destroy these documents is water and heat," said Walker, as the budget committee and several other commissioners toured the damp and stuffy basement in the Dyer County Clerk's Office.
The budget committee also toured the basement of the Election Commission Office where Walker has suggested that Marilyn Holmes, secretary for the Dyer County Historical Society, can set up an archiving office and begin working so that it can begin to apply for grants and raise funding in order to preserve the county's documents.
"So you have not contacted the auditors?" Horner asked, repeating the question.
"No," said Walker.
"Are there copies of resolutions from other counties that we can look at?" asked Horner.
"The resolution was drafted with the help of CTAS, which has drafted similar resolutions across the state," responded Walker.
Horner then asked who would decide how the money received would be spent. Walker responded that the statute was very clear that it could only be spent for archiving purposes. He added that the committee would draft a budget that would have to be presented and approved by the budget committee through the regular budget process. Horner summarized that the resolution would charge the people that are using the court system, who do not want to be using the court system, to pay an extra $5 to cover the archiving costs for the whole county.
"I'm just trying to get this office started," said Walker.
Hill added that he was concerned that county residents may not understand what is trying to be accomplished with this archiving fee and perhaps the $5 rate was too much and should be lowered.
"We do care about folks and putting the hurt on them," said Hill. "This is taxation and that needs to be considered."
"You look at the economy, the empty houses," said Horner. "I won't vote to add any fee, tax, whatever you want to call it."
Hill suggested that the county could appropriate money from the driving school fund to the archiving office rather than placing an additional fee on residents. The budget committee was in agreement with the suggestion and Hill moved that the county establish an archiving office and appropriate $15,000 from the driving school fund for startup costs. Horner seconded the motion, which was approved without opposition by Hill, Horner, Mallard, Commissioner Steve Moore, Commissioner Bill Cloar and Commissioner Benny Spain.
In other business:
* The committee unanimously approved several budget transfers on a motion by Hill and a second by Horner.
* The committee reviewed a draft letter that will be sent to all charitable organizations that receive funding from the county. The letter specifically discusses the possibility that funding may not be available in future years. Horner moved that the committee approve the letter with Spain adding a second. The letter was unanimously approved.