Blair records to head home

Microfilm documents stored in facility in Butler County

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County’s microfilmed records stored in an underground facility for more than a decade will be coming back to the county.

Commissioners agreed Tuesday to send notifications to the state and to Iron Mountain of its intention to remove records from the Butler County facility in light of a pending storage price increase.

Based on information about the increase, county Register/Recorder Anita Terchanik estimated that the annual cost of storing the microfilmed rolls her office generates annually could be about $4,000. She said it’s currently about $200.

“It’s a bad idea to stay there,” Commissioner Amy Webster said to fellow commissioners Bruce Erb and Laura Burke after reporting the results of a survey of register/recorders in 20 responding counties.

One county reported its intention to keep storing records at Iron Mountain, Webster said. The others indicated that they’ll be moving their records to the Pennsylvania State Archives.

Earlier this month, county employees involved in creating, storing and preserving county records proposed remodeling space at the county’s 911 Center in Altoona to make it suitable for storing records.

Bringing the records back to Blair County seems to be the best option, Webster said Tuesday, because the state won’t accept any of the county’s microfilmed records with acetate.

When addressing commissioners last week, county archivist Heather Rininger spoke of microfilmed records containing acetate as having a 35-year life expectancy. She also referred to them as “dead rolls walking” and proposed that some of those rolls may need to be recreated.

Burke spoke Tuesday of taking a closer look at “how many copies” of county records may be available and the options for those needing to be recreated.

Erb said the county should work on a plan that addresses the cost and the risks.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 814-946-7456.


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