Vendor details plans for digitizing county clerk records

By Robert Morales —

County Commissioners on Monday night listened to a presentation made by
Scott Fausto of Property Info about converting the county’s clerk’s
paper documents in to an electronic format .

Property Info, a
company based in San Antonio, is only one company that has shown
interest in procuring the county’s bid for digitizing the county clerk’s
books. According to Mr. Fausto, the company works with small counties
as well as large counties (Brewster, Harris, Bexar).

Currently,
all records at the clerk’s office are stored in large binders – a
practice that is now considered antiquated and inefficient. The standard
practice today is for these types of documents to be converted into an
easier format to use instead of relying solely on paper records.

Mr.
Fausto said it would take approximately six months to index the
documents from paper to electronic form depending on the needs of the
county. Scanning involves the use of a machine that is akin to a copier.
The scanned document can be saved in various formats, according to the
specifications of the job.

County Judge Carlos Urias and the
commissioners have been anxious to begin the digitizing process because
of the amount of traffic in the clerk’s office. Land speculators, in
particular, those speculators interested in mineral rights, have flooded
the clerk’s office over the past few years. Making those records
available on a computer will help ease the congestion in the clerk’s
office.

“We invite you to call our clients,” said Mr. Fausto,
referring to the Texas counties that have contracted with Property Info,
a Stewart Title subsidiary.

“This is only one option,” said
Linda McDonald, county clerk. Mr. Fausto responded that he will provide a
detailed and comprehensive bid with various options for scanning,
including the scanning of microfilm. Irrespective of the vendor the
county chooses, Culberson County measured in objective terms is way
behind the times, especially at the clerk’s office.

Mr. Fausto
commented that although the task to convert from paper to electronic
form may appear formidable, when compared with larger counties with many
more records, Culberson County would be a relatively small job. He said
that Medina County, a county near San Antonio, now allocates
approximately $100,000 a year for conversion services.

In other action, commissioners:
*
Approved a motion to meet next week to discuss a proposal from Conoco
on policies, fees, permits for pipelines, right-of-ways, and utilities
on county roads;

* Approved a resolution between culberson county
and Government Capital Corporation for the purchase of buying a 2013
Tahoe for the Sheriff’s Office;

* Discussed the purchase of a
transfer switch for the county jail generator in the amount of $15,000.
Judge Urias said that he asked a local electrician to provide a quote.
According to Sheriff Oscar Carrillo, when a power outage occurs, the
city and the county are left without 911 service, no electricity and no
radio communications. He said that although the jail generator can be
manually turned on, it is extremely dangerous to use a screwdriver to
make it work.

* Discussed whether to impose a $10 maximum state fee for the County Road and Bridge Fees/Child Safety Fund Fee.