Castleton article seeks fund for records
By Lucia Suarez
STAFF WRITER | January 17,2013
Albert J. Marro / Staff File Photo
An outdoor vault is being used temporarily to store Castleton town records.
CASTLETON — A new article in the upcoming March ballot will allow the town to create a new reserve fund for the restoration and preservation of town records.
Town Clerk Katy Thornblade asked town officials this week to include the article on the ballot. She said it would allow the town to expand the fund for future land record preservation projects, including digitizing them and putting them online.
“Statute takes about a dollar per page (from recording fees) for a restoration budget,” she said. “There is an allowance in the statute to create a reserve fund for the use of anything.”
Thornblade said although the town already has about $29,000 for records in the general fund, the reserve fund will clear up any confusion. Town officials in 2009 voted to increase the recording fee to $2 per page.
Some Select Board members were worried that if the article did not pass, they would lose the funds.
Town accountant Melanie Combs said the clerk would not be losing the funds, or any future funds, if the article does not pass because they were only moving the money from the general fund to the reserve.
“Currently, we have a balance in the general fund,” Combs said. “Within it there are moneys that are designated (like the highway fund). ... If the article were not to pass, it would still be designated for that purpose.”
She said the ballot article would just make it more clear in the budget.
The majority of the town’s records have been microfilmed and the next step is digitizing them, Thornblade said.
“I have taken care of the past and now I want to take care of the future,” she told the Select Board.
By general consensus, the board approved the article for the town meeting ballot. The board also raised the recording fee to $3 per page.