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Archive storage trailers to be utilized for several more months

Washington County’s records from the old Downtown Centre in Johnson City will remain housed in storage trailers for several more months due to snags in preparing the Archive Annex at the old courthouse on Main Street in Jonesborough.
During the Oct. 11 Washington County Budget Committee meeting, Archivist Ned Irwin requested a transfer of $1,800 among lines in the Preservation of Records Department budget for additional rental payments.
“We’re paying $350 per month for the rental of four trailers, and moving the money will provide rental through June,” Irwin said.
“The demolition has been completed, but it took longer than planned,” he added, referring to work on the third floor of the courthouse to make room for the Archive Annex, which will store the overflow records. “We also had a delay in receiving the shelving.”
The biggest hold-up is the need to re-bid the job for the reinforcement to strengthen the floors in the annex for increased storage. Only one bid was received, and Irwin said the price was too expensive.
The bid document was revised and the invitation was opened up to a larger number of contractors in hopes of receiving more submissions.
A pre-bid meeting will be held with interested contractors on Tuesday, Oct. 23, and the bids will be opened one week later.
Commissioner Pete Speropulos made a motion to approve the transfer of $1,800, which was seconded by Commissioner Ethan Flynn and passed unanimously.
Later that day, despite not having a quorum, the Public Records Commission met and reviewed the preliminary plans for renovations to the Washington County Office Building, which will serve as the public archive.
A two-story foyer and the addition of an elevator are among the changes proposed, though no dollar figures were included with the sketches.
September revenue from the archive fee totaled $21,300, and expenditures for the month were $16,300.
Irwin proposed a change in the future meeting schedule of the Public Records Commission.
“We’ve been meeting monthly, but the heavy lifting is mostly done,” he said. “What about meeting every other month?” Irwin said the commission is legally required to meet twice a year.
County commissioners Sam Humphreys and Alpha Bridger, and county historian John Kiener had no problem with meeting less often, but Bridger said it is important to keep the project in front of the public for ongoing awareness.
The group’s November meeting was canceled, and the next one was scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 6, at 5 p.m.