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County Commission considers allowing departments go paperless

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By PETER SAWYER

 At Monday’s workshop, County Commissioners considered allowing department heads to decide to convert to paperless records. Larry Sharp, a representative from ITC Imaging Technology Consulting, Inc. in Knoxville, addressed the commission about the benefits of paperless documents. 

“The idea behind it is to save you time and money,” Sharp said

There are usually at least three steps involved with paper documents: somebody has to key and enter information, the document has to be printed, and it has to be filed, Sharp said. ITC Imaging Technology Consulting, Inc. offers to simplify the process and make it cheaper. The company specializes in making companies and county and city governments paperless, Sharp said. 

“And that’s all we do,” he said.

ITC Imaging Technology Consulting, Inc. uses software called docStar. Docstar stands for document storage, but also is able to retrieve documents, Sharp said.

“Once you scan it (a document), it cannot be altered,” Sharp said.

When a person accesses a document to read it, an audit trail is left.

The software is set up with permissions for human resources sensitive documents.

“You may not want everyone to look at that particular document,” Sharp said.

Commissioner Rusty Orick asked if the electronic records would replace hard copies.

“The idea is to have less paper,” Sharp said.

The legislature passed a law eliminating the necessity to keep a physical copy of record as long as you have it stored electronically, Mayor William Baird said.

Sharp read the law from the Tennessee Code Annotated, records may be destroyed if they have been copied.

Each department that participates would need a license. The license applies to all computers in that office. The information is also stored in a separate place outside the office. Every license is $59 a month.

Commissioner Sue Nance asked about satellite offices, referring to the county court clerk’s office. In these cases there is a $20 web view charge, Sharp said.

There is also a $330 annual fee for each participating department for upgrades and security patches and a $350 annual fee for every participating department for training and setting up templates.

“Where are the savings?” Commissioner Alvin Evans asked.

Bobby Vann spent $4,000 on cotton paper for his minute book, County Mayor William Baird said.

“Would that eliminate people in your office by doing something like this?” Evans asked.

Vann said it wouldn’t.

Commissioner Bobby White suggested holding a workshop for Sharp, the commissioners and department heads “to figure out what this really is.”

“He’s thrown out some stuff I really don’t know,” White said. “We don’t have time right now to (really digest.)”

“We’ve had two workshops with the department heads,” Sharp said.

“I think it should have been with the commission too,” White said.

“This is between budget periods,” Nance said. “Where are we getting the money to fund this?”

Baird said the money to fund this would come from within the departments.

Danny Sheckles, director for the Campbell County Emergency Medical Services, expressed interest in the program, but needed the commission to make a decision soon because he will soon have to make decisions whether or not to purchase paper. After that, it won’t be beneficial to participate with docStar for a year, Sheckles said. Sheckles, like the other department heads, needs the commission’s approval to participate in a lease or contract.

White recommended approving letting the department heads that want to participate, and could afford to, to do so.

“If we leave it to each department head, there’s no reason for us to meet,” White said.

Coker said the commission could give a blanket approval to the department heads to enter into the lease if the commissioners want to.

Appointments

At Monday’s meeting, the commission will approve appointments to the county planning commission, solid waste board and industrial board.

The commissioners will decide whether to appoint Danny Coleman and Ray Heatherly to the planning commission and Allen McClary, Jake Bennett, Bill Snodgrass, Glen Massengill and Patrick Slone to the industrial board.

Orick asked about having a commissioner represented on the industrial board. Commissioner Tom Hatmaker agreed with Orick.

Orick also wanted to see a commissioner on the other boards.

“I’d like to see all the boards represented with a commissioner,” Orick said. “Sometimes you don’t find out till late in the game what these boards (are) asking for. I think we ought to know what’s going on.”

Some of the boards are set up so a commissioner can’t sit on them, Orick said.

“There may be some we shouldn’t be on,” Orick said.

Quitclaim Deed

A survey revealed a road, old Charley Queener Lane, goes through the garage of a private citizen’s property in Jacksboro.

“There may have been a road there before,” Coker said. “I don’t know what it was, there’s not any evidence of it today.”

The road may belong to Jacksboro, Caryville or Tennessee, but Campbell County will give up any claim to it.

Animal Control

At Monday’s meeting, the county commission will vote to put out bids for a new truck for the animal shelter. The old truck isn’t working, Baird said. The animal Shelter needs a brand new truck, Baird said.

Norris Ridge Volunteer Fire Department

If the Norris Ridge Volunteer Fire Department receives its charter, EIN number and certification from the state fire marshal before the meeting Monday, the commission will vote to approve it as a fire department. Since 2003, the county commission must approve all new fire departments, Baird said.