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County expanding records center
Officiails say archive is at capacity
records center 2
The addition is being added to the west side of the records center, which was originally built as the Hinesville Police Office. - photo by Photo by Denise Etheridge
The Liberty County Records Center is getting 6,000 square feet of elbow room. County officials say the 11,000-square-foot-center is at storage capacity. The expansion, paid for with SPLOST dollars, was approved by voters on the last SPLOST referendum.
“It’s needed,” said Bob Sprinkel, Liberty County assistant administrator. “It’s been needed for a while.”
County records must be stored at a certain climate and temperature in order to be properly maintained, Sprinkel said. The county keeps both hard copies and puts its records on micro-fish, he added.
“We keep our records at a minimum of 68 degrees Fahrenheit or lower,” said Kim Brown, Records Center manager. “The humidity level has to be around 40-47 percent. These are the standards for this center, but we try to keep the temperature a little cooler (than 68 degrees) because our humidity is so high.”
“We keep records for many of the agencies within the county,”  Sprinkel said. “Having a centralized storage facility in my opinion saves the taxpayer a lot of money.”
It would cost more to have multiple records facilities for each governmental entity, he said.
Agencies that store records at the center include Liberty Regional Medical Center, the Liberty County Board of Education, the city of Hinesville, the clerk of courts, the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, magistrate and probate courts, the criminal and child support departments of the district attorney’s office and the Liberty County Commission.
Records can be kept from three years to 20 years, “or indefinitely,” according to  Sprinkel.
“Some records are kept forever,” he said.
When county records are destroyed they’re taken to Interstate Paper to be properly disposed of and recycled.
“We don’t burn our documents when they’re destroyed,” Brown said. “Interstate Paper adds liquid (to the documents) and ‘melts’ them down.”
Recycling is one way the county can keep costs down,  Sprinkel said.
 He estimated the project’s cost somewhere between $625,000-645,000. Initially, $1.2 million of SPLOST funds were set aside for the project which was bid below $700,000.
“We’ll be putting a raised roof on the building also,” he said.
In addition to a new roof, new air conditioning units and fireproof steel doors will be installed. Tippins-Polk Construction in Statesboro was contracted by the county in August to make the renovations. Construction began about three weeks ago.
“The contractor was given 270 days to complete the project, but he told us it shouldn’t take that long,” Brown said. “We hope to be in the new building in the spring.”
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