Seeing big savings long term, Napa County moves to digitize records

Newswire: Dec. 16, 2017

Dateline: Napa, Calif.

Napa County, California — home of the famous wine-growing and winemaking region — is moving to digitize the bulk of its records over the next three years.

The county views the $900,000 project as a more sustainable solution to leasing 7,624 feet of warehouse space — at a cost of $107,000 a year — to store some 30 million pages of paper documents.

California state law, reports the Napa Valley Register, requires counties to preserve records for varying lengths of time, in some cases 10 years. The law itself is inactive but counties keep their paper records on hand in case of an audit. lawsuit or other need.

“The intent of digitization is to reduce our footprint,” Jon Gjestvang, the county’s chief information officer, told the Register.

Another cost of maintaining paper records is the shredding required once the time to maintain them expires. A county employee noted that, once digitized, when records must be purged it can be done with the press of a button, instead of hiring a shredding service to destroy and dispose of them.

The county’s planning, building and environmental services records will be the first to be digitized. Paper records of historical significance will still be preserved in the records center, which Gjestvang estimates will decrease by two-thirds once the digitization is complete.

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(front page image by Don Ramey Logan/Wikipedia)