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Digital records could be solution to recorder’s office move

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois - Rock Island county records could all soon be available digitally.

That is if the county board and the county recorder decide to hire U.S. Imaging to scan each record into a database.

The county recorder presented the idea to the board at a meeting on Monday, August 13.

The idea comes as the recorder is looking for ways to move her office out of the old county courthouse and into the county office building across the street.

The board voted to demolish the old courthouse last month, but until the recorder's office is moved, the building cannot be knocked down.

The issues is that the county's records books are too heavy for the county office building to structurally support.

"If we don't go ahead with the digitizing then we have to find some place else to go," said County Recorder, Kelly Fisher. "So the only way we can get into the county building is if we get the records digitized and move the books to the basement."

If the office and the board decide to digitize the records, a team of eight people would come to the office, and under the supervision of the Rock Island County Sheriff's Department and the Rock Island County Recorder's office, they would scan and digitize those heavy books into a database.

They would work 24 hours a day, seven days a week for two weeks.

This move would allow the 22-pound books to be stored away from the office, and get the County Recorder working alongside peers.

"It makes sense for the county because we could be in the county building with all the other county offices we work in conjunction with," she said.

The project could cost more than $1 million. For Rock Island County Administrator Jim Snider, he looks at the price tag as being less of a hardship than taking on a new piece of property.

"The operative word here is investment," he said, "not necessarily another burden to the tax payer with reoccurring costs, so we're hopeful."

Fisher said her office would be willing to pay the county back with revenue that her office generates.

She said that until her office is moved, the courthouse cannot be demolished.  Snider said the courthouse is expected to be torn down sometime in 2019.