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City of Moline looking to make records digital, reuse space in basement for employee breakrooms

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Long stored the in basement of City Hall, records for the city of Moline are advancing into a new records management system. 

The city wants to dispose of records that are no longer needed and to digitize records to free up space in the basement and use it for employee purposes. Records the city wishes to dispose of must be approved from the state archives. It can't dispose of certain records such as ordinances, agendas or minutes. 

Enacted in 1962, the Local Records Act regulates the preservation and disposal of public records for all units of local government. The purpose is to provide a process for managing records that are necessary for the proper functioning of government, the destruction of obsolete records and the archival of preservation of records that have long-term research value.

City Clerk Janine Hollembaek Parr is leading the records management project and said each department is currently in the process of organizing records and completing disposal certificates. 

"It is a city-wide project," Hollembaek Parr said. "We are in the preliminary stage of the records disposal process." 

The city hopes to have all disposal certificates submitted by the end of the year. Once the disposal process is complete, the city will then discuss the digitization of the records. 

The first step in the process is locating the application for authority to dispose of local records that was approved by the appropriate Local Records Commission in which it provides a retention schedule with record titles, descriptions and a range of the retention period. 

Chief Deputy Director of the Illinois State Archives Robert Chayce Boots said local governments would then work off of the retention information to determine which records to keep versus what to dispose of. 

"Then after that, they generate a disposal certificate for those records, and then that comes through Springfield to the state archives," Boots said. 

The disposal certificates will then be reviewed to make sure the records are in compliance. Once the certificate is fully approved, it will be returned, and a date will be indicated on it when records can be destroyed. Agency's that use a commercial shredding service can schedule shredding of the approved records 30 days after the approved DC. 

More information on the process can be found in the in state archive's quick guide for disposing of local records. 

With space in the basement opening up, Sarah Mark, fleet and facilities manager, said they hope to develop a more functional space for employees and community members. Mark said they hoped to update the HVAC system, create a break room on the north side and create a conference space. 

"The city has been very fortunate to add to our staffing in many departments," Mark said. "Unfortunately, (we) had to eliminate pretty much all break-room areas in order to have office space for new team members." 

The conference space would have areas for staff to bring in community members or those interested in living or doing business, to meet and plan for future projects and developments in the city. 

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