State Archives Awards

Thoma was very happy to go five-for-five with the announcement of State Archives awards this past June. We wrote five applications for five separate communities and all received funding. State Archives funds are awarded through the New York State Education Department and are used by communities to manage their records. Thoma communities that received awards include the Towns of Cortlandville and Verona, the Cortland County Planning Department, the Town of Locke, and the Village of Weedsport.

The Town of Cortlandville in Cortland County is a community with significant residential and commercial development. The purchase of a wide format scanner through the State Archives is enabling the Town to scan their blueprint records and have them available for viewing on a new desktop computer (also purchased with the grant award). If a person wants to take the records with them, they can be copied to a disk. A new laptop computer enables the Code Officer to also take a CD to the project site, reference the blueprints to the actual work, and note any changes. Locating and sharing records among Town departments is facilitated by the new technology and this also saves on the wear and tear of the originals.

The Town of Verona received Archives funds to hire a consultant to complete a Geographic Information System (GIS) Needs Assessment. The Town has a number of records-related issues that may be addressed through a GIS, not the least of which is a lack of mapping records for much of the Town’s water and sewer infrastructure. When completed, the Needs Assessment will detail the GIS needs of the Town’s Water and Sewer Department, the Highway Department, the Assessor’s Office, the Code Office, and the Supervisor’s Office. From there, the Town can decide the best GIS method to implement in the community. The Cortland County Planning Department also submitted a GIS request. The County completed a GIS Needs Assessment in 1995 and wanted to widen the scope of its GIS capabilities through the purchase of ArcView software for the County’s web site. Providing a GIS web-based service will service the needs of many Cortland County departments and provide County services on-line that are currently not available.

The Town of Locke in Cayuga County received funds to purchase a scanner with bundled OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software, an external re-writable CD-ROM drive, and funds to hire a temporary staff person to scan 3,000 pages of Board minutes. Indexing grants of this nature are becoming increasingly sought after by Town and Village Clerks who maintain busy schedules and who need technology to assist them in records searches and retrieval.

The Village of Weedsport in Cayuga County received funds for its inactive records storage room. Over the next year, the Village will purchase shelving and file boxes to properly store its inactive records, purchase a fire extinguisher, purchase software to track records, and hire additional part time help to assist with the project.

The next State Archives application due date is February 2, 2004. We have already contacted our Grant Writing Customers to ascertain if an application for 2004 is anticipated. Anyone desiring more information on this program is encouraged to contact us.