Following a grant for $137,000, the Covington City Commission will soon award a contract to put its property records online.
Filing cabinets and boxes fill the basement of City Hall with decades of paper records. Locating a single file could take hours or even days. But in about a year, all the property records will be digitized thanks to a grant from the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives.
"We're going to make about 1.4 million digital images," Covington Grant Writer Meganne Robinson says. "Those images will be tagged so they are searchable. It's important to think of these records as a living document."
The property records date back to the 1960s and every day the city's lawyers, tax staff, zoning administrators, code enforcement inspectors and others need access to them.
"Every city has a responsibility to protect the records of over 200 years of city history," says City Manager David Johnston. "So we need to preserve it."
Other phases of the project may make records from other departments available electronically.