Pickaway County with a population of nearly sixty thousand people is located in Central Ohio and is part of the Columbus Metropolitan Statistical Area. Founded in 1810, the county has property records reaching all the back to its founding. County Auditor Melissa Betz was seeking to preserve and protect the property records that have both practical and historical value.
Pickaway County’s property records that were stored in bound books were becoming fragile due to their age. This posed several challenges for the auditor, county employees, and citizens who sought access to them.
Manpower & Time costs
Looking up a particular property tax record took a great deal of effort and time. The process involved locating and retrieving a specific book stored offsite, then carrying the 20lb book, and searching through it manually. This not only constrained searching in a given book to one person at any time but also posed the risk of accidental user damage to historical records.
Preservation and Protection
The records were stored in an old jail and ran the risk of damage or even destruction in the event of a natural disaster such as flooding, fire or a tornado. Such damage or destruction would be an irreparable loss of historical county records dating back to early 1800s.
Most of the property tax books that the county sought to preserve were bulky and many were fragile being hundreds of years old.
3SG carefully transported the books to its specialized scanning location even while limiting their physical handling. Once scanning was complete, the electronic documents were transferred to the county’s network, where they could be shared.
Storage and Retrieval
The documents were named based on the county’s existing book- numbering system making it easy for county employees to transition from locating a physical book to a shared one online.
The project not only enabled the country to preserve and protect its historical property tax records but allowed easier and simultaneous access to multiple county employees. Having the property tax records available online also meant employees did not have to make a trip to the old jail and lug around fragile 20lb books. This added benefit saved the county a great deal of time and effort.